Sports

No stopping Topping by Smoke Eaters in Caps’ win

Former Capital Travis Stephens crashes the crease and joins a wall of fallers that includes Caps’ goalie Robin Gusse and defenceman Reilly O’Connor. - Andrew Leong
Former Capital Travis Stephens crashes the crease and joins a wall of fallers that includes Caps’ goalie Robin Gusse and defenceman Reilly O’Connor.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

The Cowichan Valley Capitals broke out of their scoring slump in a big way last Thursday night, thumping the Trail Smoke Eaters 7-2 in a B.C. Hockey League game at Cowichan Arena.

The Caps took a while to catch fire. After going scoreless in the first period with the Smoke Eaters, they got some offense going but also gave up a couple of goals in taking a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

The third period was a runaway, with the Caps scoring four unanswered goals.

Leading the way was 16-year-old valley product Jordan Topping. He went into the game with four goals and came out of it with a total of seven on the season after scoring a hat trick.

“It was nice to get them and help my team out,’’ said Topping.

While it was a good night for him with all the attention scoring a hat trick usually brings, Topping was quick to credit his linemates.

He was playing on a line with Matt Foster and Francis Lapierre-Slicer, brought up from the Kerry Park Islanders.

But it was on makeshift lines between regular shifts when Topping scored his goals.

“There was some penalties and I got rotated in and out,’’ he said.

Topping scored his first goal unassisted in the last minute of the second period.

Sam Curleigh set him up for No. 2 early in the third and he completed the hat trick with 6:40 remaining on assists to Dane Gibson and Myles Powell.

As much as he’d love to tell tall tales about his highlight-reel goals, Topping said none of his goals was of that quality. But they all count so that’s the most important thing for the Caps who have the second fewest goals in the BCHL, with only Trail having less.

“It’s given me a little bit of confidence I can do a bit more than I have been lately,’’ said Topping.

The Caps also got goals from Jesse Neher and Dane Gibson in the second period.

Other markers in the third came from Kyle Horsman and Powell.

The Caps peppered the Trail net with 49 shots. They had 10 shots in the first that didn’t produce any goals and then ramped it up to 22 in the second.

“The guys in the room were talking, ‘Keep working and it’ll come,’’’ said Topping.

It did indeed, with Topping the main trigger man.

The loss was the 10th in a row for Trail and Chilliwack had lost 10 straight at that point.

The Caps can almost sympathize with both teams, having lost nine in a row earlier this season before snapping the drought.

The Caps return after the Christmas break on the road at Surrey, Coquitlam and Langley. The next home game is Jan. 10 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.