Sports

Showcase tournament opens BCHL’s season

Scramble in front of the Powell River net ends without any damage for the Kings as Brady Campbell clears the puck away from the Caps’ Grant Nicholson. Powell River goalie Jeff Smith gets the paddle down in case someone gets to Campbell first. The teams played to a 1-1 tie. - Andrew Leong
Scramble in front of the Powell River net ends without any damage for the Kings as Brady Campbell clears the puck away from the Caps’ Grant Nicholson. Powell River goalie Jeff Smith gets the paddle down in case someone gets to Campbell first. The teams played to a 1-1 tie.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have set their 22-man roster heading into the Showcase tournament at Chilliwack that opens the B.C. Hockey League’s regular-season schedule this weekend.

Caps’ head coach and general manager Jim Ingram made one last addition in Adam Fauchoux from the Vernon Vipers’ camp. To make room for him, Ingram was in the process of trying to send Yan Kalashnikov to another team.

Ingram feels the upside of the team is strong, although it might take some time to develop.

“Again, a lot of inexperience,’’ he said. “We work hard, we skate fairly well.

“I like our back end. It’s one of the most mobile back ends I’ve had, for sure.’’

Only Karver Everson and Troy Paterson are back from last season’s defence corps. Newcomers include: Rylan Bechtel, Jarrett Brown, Ryan Coghlan, Tyler Mueller and Corey Scammon.

In goal, veteran Derek Dun will be backed up by Alex Orth.

Familiar faces on the forward line include: Keyler Bruce, Steen Cooper, Matt Grant, Steven Iacobellis and Mikael Jung.

New arrivals at forward, besides Fauchoux, are: Hayden-James Berra, Kai Cathers, Eli Jarvis, Grant Nicholson, Luke Sandler and Jamie Waddington.

The Caps closed out the exhibition schedule with a 1-1 tie against the Powell River Kings Friday and a 3-1 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday, both at Cowichan Arena.

Despite the win over the Bulldogs, the Caps had their hands full trying to beat Alberni goalie Jay Deo.

“He kept it close for them,’’ said Ingram. “I think we outshot them 2-1.’’

The Caps rifled more than 40 shots at Deo, but he came up with some big saves. Orth wasn’t tested nearly as often in the Caps’ net, but also played well.

“I thought we were good Saturday,’’ said Ingram. “I know Alberni had some suspension issues they had to deal with. But I like the way we played.’’

Ingram said it will be quite different from last season when the Caps loaded up on talent and took a run at the BCHL title that fell short. They’ve gone back to square one to build a team and a program that revolves around the younger players.

“There’s going to be some learning curves, for sure,’’ said Ingram. “A lot of the kids we went after, as far as recruiting, we were able to land. We think we’ve done a good job and our scouts have done an awesome job of bringing these kids in.’’

The Caps face Trail Saturday night and Coquitlam Sunday afternoon in the Showcase tournament. “A lot of schools will be there,’’ said Ingram. “I like that.’’

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