Rennie, Hawthorne like brick walls
Great goaltending can make all the difference at any level of hockey.
The Cowichan Valley Apex Landscaping Bantam Tier 1 Capitals received exceptional goaltending during playoff games that propelled the team to the championship of the Peninsula Eagle Cup hockey tournament over the holidays.
“That’s basically why we won those games,’’ said coach Randy Beggs matter-of-factly. “They played well. They definitely did their part — that’s for sure.’’
The Caps’ Ty Rennie was the team MVP in a 2-1 semifinal win over Port Alberni. And John Hawthorne garnered MVP honours by shutting out Powell River 2-0 in the final.
“That, to me, pretty much summed it up for the last two games,’’ said Beggs.
“The team played well, but we didn’t generate too much offense.’’
Andrew Jack tallied both goals against Port Alberni. The defence corps was also solid in front of Rennie.
Liam Craig and Jack scored in the final and Hawthorne did the rest, stymieing every Powell River attempt on net.
Reaching the final required a concentrated effort on the part of all the players.
“In the round robin, we took care of business,’’ said Beggs.
The Caps opened the tournament by edging Racquet Club 3-2 on goals by Keegan Bissett, Steven Robertson and Tanner Tiel. Ryan Hogg was the Caps’ MVP for the game.
A 4-1 victory over Nanaimo followed, as Jack netted a pair of goals and earned MVP status. Robertson and Dawson Haines had the other markers.
The Caps then beat Victoria 6-1 behind the two-goal efforts of Hogg and Jack. Single markers were added by Josh Anderson and Haines while
Brendon Penner’s fine defensive work earned him the MVP award.
The Caps closed out the round robin with a 3-2 loss to Powell River. Robertson had both goals and standout defenceman Anderson was named the MVP.
The loss only made the Caps more determined and they wreaked revenge on Powell River in the final.
The only concern for Beggs following the tournament was the offensive output.
“We just don’t have that natural goal-scorer on our team,’’ he said.
The team returned to league play on the weekend and found more of a scoring edge in a 6-4 triumph over Comox.
But Tiel’s goal in the last 30 seconds was all the Caps could muster Sunday in a 5-1 defeat against Juan de Fuca.
An exhibition game Saturday against Saanich will be followed by a league meeting against Racquet Club Sunday.
“They’re top of the league,’’ Beggs said of Racquet Club. “That’s a pretty tall order.’’
Playoffs start during the first weekend of February.