Beating Kings a sign of progress
The Cowichan Valley Capitals may have the fewest points in the B.C. Hockey League at the moment, but there’s no reason to believe that’s going to continue.
Based on their play against the Powell River Kings Sunday afternoon at Cowichan Arena, the Caps certainly appear to be a far better team than their 4-10-1 record.
“I think we’re going to start to get some more wins,’’ said Caps’ forward Ryan Hanes, who’s put 21 points on the board in 15 games.
“Once we start to get some momentum, we’ll be good to go.’’
The Caps’ young players certainly seem to be turning the corner after 15 games. The defencemen showed poise against Powell River and moved the puck well from their own zone.
“I think we’re starting to see it now, for sure,’’ said Hanes of the development of the young players. “They’re working really hard at it.’’
The Caps’ penalty-killing units were exceptional in the game. Mikael Jung was particularly effective, blocking shots and generally keeping the Powell River power play on the run.
As a result, the Kings only converted one chance out of seven.
The Caps knew they had to jump on Powell River after a disappointing 6-5 loss in Nanaimo Friday. The Kings were coming off a 3-2 setback in Nanaimo Saturday.
“We knew they played (Saturday) night and we had the night off,’’ said Hanes. “The start was huge for us.’’
The Caps jumped into a 2-0 lead on goals by Matt Grant and Troy Paterson in the first 6 1/2 minutes.
Jaret Smith cut the deficit in half with a power-play marker before the end of the first period.
The Caps regained the two-goal lead on Kyle Horsman’s first goal of the season in the second period.
Teal Burns scored a huge insurance marker early in the third, especially after Jarryd Leung countered for Powell River less than two minutes later.
But stellar work by goalie Derek Dun, who finished with 32 saves, helped preserve the Caps’ two-goal margin. He was particularly tested when the Caps’ Dane Gibson was assessed a double minor for high-sticking midway through the third.
Hanes sported pink tape on his socks and wrists, and some of the other players used the tape on their sticks in support of women’s cancers.
“It’s a good cause so I support it,’’ said Hanes.
He’s enjoying the different role on the Caps as an offensive player compared to his Western Hockey League days in Kamloops.
“It’s going really good, except for the winning part,’’ Hanes said.
He doesn’t put any added pressure on himself because of his experience.
“It doesn’t really affect me much,’’ Hanes said. “I’m just trying to help out the young guys.’’
In Nanaimo, the Caps were tied 5-5 with the Clippers when Brenden Forbes scored the winning goal with nine seconds left. Steen Cooper, Hanes, Grant, Jamie Waddington and Tyler Mueller tallied for the Caps.