Eagles nip Caps in playoff series opener
The Cowichan Valley Capitals will be aiming to leave Surrey with a split when they take on the Eagles in game two of their B.C. Hockey League Coastal Conference semifinal playoff series Saturday night.
The Caps dropped game one Friday night in an expected tight affair 4-3.
"It was a little bit a feeling-out process,'' said Caps' associate coach Jim Ingram of the opener. "We've still got more in the tank.''
Former Eagle Richard Vanderhoek scored the game's first goal for the Caps early in the second period. Goals by Tyler Morley and Brayden Jaw 58 seconds apart later in the period gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
The Caps twice tied the score in the third, only to give up the go-ahead goals a minute later each time. Matt Cronin's marker with 2:11 left in regulation time was the game-winner.
Veterans Matt Brown and Brett Knowles had the other Caps' goals, with an assist each.
"I didn't like the way we responded after we scored goals,'' said Ingram.
"There was some nerves, no question.''
Surrey finished with a two-shot edge in the game.
Ingram said he might shift a couple of lines around for game two. Otherwise, it will be business as usual to try and draw even in the best-of-seven before the series shifts to Duncan Monday and Tuesday night.
All the higher seeded teams that started the playoffs on home ice were winners Friday night. Powell River beat Coquitlam 4-2, Merritt upended Prince George 4-1 and Penticton knocked off Chilliwack 6-1.
Ingram figures the rest of the series is going to remain the same way, with two evenly-matched teams going down to wire.
"We'll get into more of a rhythm here,'' he said.
"It's going to be one shot winner-take-all by the time it's all said and done.''