Sports

Caps suffering scoring drought

Rolling puck comes dangerously close to the Caps’ net guarded by Connor LaCouvee Saturday night in Merritt. - Ian Webster (Merritt Herald)
Rolling puck comes dangerously close to the Caps’ net guarded by Connor LaCouvee Saturday night in Merritt.
— image credit: Ian Webster (Merritt Herald)

Staying the course is becoming Cowichan Valley Capitals’ head coach Jim Ingram’s motto for the season.

Yes, the team is mired at the bottom of the B.C. Hockey League’s overall standings.

Yes, the team is inexperienced and continues to lose close games.

No, he’s not pushing the panic button and planning to totally revamp the roster.

Ingram doesn’t see any quick fix for the Caps’ predicament other than to keep working hard.

Their 7-17-2 mark for 16 points is very deceiving. They’re only -13 in the goals for and against department.

Compare that to Vernon’s -12 but with 11 more points, Langley’s -12 with nine more points or even Salmon Arm’s -16 with a dozen more points than the Caps and you can understand their frustration.

They’re just not getting the results from the close games and it happened again during a weekend road trip when they lost 3-1 at Prince George Friday and 4-1 at Merritt Saturday. Both the Spruce Kings and Centennials scored empty-net goals in those narrow victories.

“We need to really look at where our organization is and go from there,’’ said Ingram.

“We can’t keep turning over that number of players.’’

The Caps turned over a bunch from last season, including some key personnel to the Salmon Arm SilverBacks to land Brett Knowles for a playoff run. It doesn’t make sense to Ingram to continue along that type of path.

“It’s easy to look at us and say we’re brutal, we’re close and we’re young,’’ said Ingram.

“We just keep working hard and doing what we can do.’’

It may not be paying dividends right now, but the Caps are also still trying to formulate a team around the unexpected loss of Ryan Hanes to the Western Hockey League and Mikael Jung to injury.

“It’s a good opportunity for the young kids,’’ said Ingram.

The biggest fact that remains is “we need some guys to start scoring goals,’’ he added.

Luke Gordon had the lone marker in Prince George and defenceman Tyler Mueller added one in Merritt.

Gordon has three goals and Jesse Neher one since joining the Caps in a trade from the Nanaimo Clippers.

“Mike (Vandekamp) said both these kids can play and they’re buried right now,’’ said Ingram of the scenario in Nanaimo for the two players that prompted the trade.

Ingram said it was ridiculous we’re so far into the season before the Caps went on their first long road trip. He said it was good to develop some camaraderie.

There’s a scheduling change coming up for the Caps so they can go on their Christmas break earlier. Saturday’s game at Cowichan Arena against Prince George will be followed by a game in Victoria Sunday, moved up from Dec. 21. The Caps’ home game of Dec. 28 has also been changed to Wednesday, Jan. 2.

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