Coming home from Powell River with a win and a loss against the Kings, who have 11 wins in 15 B.C Hockey League games at home, Cowichan Valley Capitals head coach Bob Beatty thought he should have felt better about the split.
Losing on the back end of the doubleheader put a damper on the results, however.
“Realistically, if you go there and split, you’ve done OK, but you get a little greedy when you win the first game and you want to win the next game,” Beatty said. “I was saying to [assistant coach Dan Whiteford] that if we had lost 3-2 on Friday and won on Saturday, we’d be a pretty happy group going home.”
The Caps beat the Kings 6-4 on Friday, then lost 3-2 on Saturday.
The teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after the first period on Friday, with Cowichan’s goals coming from Rhett Kingston on the powerplay and Nick Wilson at even strength. The Kings went ahead early in the second, but Jared Domin tied the score soon after and Kingston put the Caps ahead again with a minute to go in the period. Powell River notched another early goal in the third, but Ty Pochipinsky scored shorthanded and Chris Harpur added some insurance with 20 seconds left in the game. Adam Marcoux got the call in net and made 36 saves for the win.
On Saturday, the Kings went ahead 2-0 in the first period and added another early in the second. Max Newton got the Caps on the board midway through the second, and Kingston added his fourth in three games with goalie Lane Michasiw pulled for the extra attacker late in the third, but the Caps were unable to complete the comeback. Michasiw finished the game with another 39 stops as Cowichan was outshot by a 2-1 margin.
“We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early in the game,” Beatty acknowledged. “We didn’t recover enough to get a point out of it.”
Before leaving for Powell River, the Caps allowed a goal late in regulation and ended up tying the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 3-3 at home on Wednesday.
The teams traded leads in the first period, and ended up 2-2 at the first break, the Caps getting goals from Domin on the powerplay and Kingston at even strength. Ryan Hogg put Cowichan ahead again early in the third, but the Bulldogs forced overtime by scoring with less than two minutes left in regulation. Neither team managed to score in five minutes of four-on-four overtime or five minutes of three-on-three. Michasiw made 25 saves.
“I thought we played a decent game,” Beatty said. “Their goalie [Brody Claeys] was really good. Maybe we should have opened up a bigger lead. We had the lead with two minutes to go; we just didn’t pay attention to detail and lost a point, and gave them one.”
Kingston is on a tear with five goals in his last four games and points in five straight contests. His 13 goals are tied with Newton and Domin for the team lead.
“He’s a guy that plays hard all the time,” Beatty said of the first-year BCHLer, who spent last season in the Alberta and Saskatchewan junior circuits. “Whether he’s getting points or not, you always notice him. He plays the right way; he finishes checks, he’s hard on the backcheck. He’s a pretty consistent performer.”
The Caps suffered a setback in Powell River when they lost defenceman Ben Verrall to a broken foot. With Nii Noi Tetteh already sidelined, the team is now missing two top-four blueliners and is scrambling to round out the corps prior to this weekend’s home-and-home series with the Nanaimo Clippers.
“We’re gonna have to find a way to shore up until after Christmas,” Beatty said.
The Caps and Clippers play at the Frank Crane Arena on Friday and at the Island Savings Centre on Saturday, both games start at 7 p.m.
“We’ll be looking for two wins for sure,” Beatty said. “They’re both four-point games. They could be big games in the standings.”