Caps taxed killing penalties against the Vees
Only losing 3-0 to the defending national champions might be considered a triumph, but the Cowichan Valley Capitals didn't see it that way.
The powerful Penticton Vees took advantage of eight power plays to maintain control of their B.C. Hockey League game over the Caps Saturday night at Cowichan Arena.
"I thought for the first half of the game or so we were very good,'' said Caps' coach Jim Ingram. "I was happy with our systems play.''
But the Caps ran into penalty trouble and only had two power plays of their own, as the momentum shifted.
"We did a helluva job killing penalties,'' said Ingram, who shuffled different players onto the penalty killing unit while holding Penticton at bay for all but one power play.
"I tried to spread it out as best as I could throughout the lines. Our commitment during the penalty kill was very good from start to finish because it had to be.''
Some of the penalties were certainly justified, but Ingram took issue with others that killed his team's offence and limited the Caps to just 17 shots on goal, making it easy for Nic Renyard to post the shutout. Renyard played most of his rep hockey in the valley.
"I just felt the penalties may have taken away from any flow we may have generated,'' said Ingram. "I'm not saying we had them hemmed in because we didn't.''
Brad McClure scored all three goals for the Vees.
Penticton has actually undergone a massive revamping of its roster since winning the Royal Bank Cup in May. But Vees' coach Fred Harbinson still has the team off to a great start with just two regulation losses in 13 games.
"Their team is what it is, a good team, quick and skilled — same as usual,'' said Ingram.
"He (Harbinson) figures he'll have a lot of his guys back next year, a position he hasn't had for a long time.''
The Caps fell to 2-8-1 with the loss in their lone game of the weekend.
"We've got to figure out how to get 60 minutes out of this team,'' said Ingram.
The Caps play at Powell River Friday and host the Trail Smoke Eaters, one of the two teams they've beaten this season, Saturday at Cowichan Arena.
CAPS' CAPSULES: Defenceman Tyler Mueller just returned in time for the game from a flydown to the University of Massachusetts to check out the campus. UMass has expressed an interest in his services in the college ranks next season.