Caps nearly miss the boat against the Rivermen

Caps' Mikael Jung scores the game-winner Saturday night against Langley on a penalty shot.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

Cowichan Valley Capitals won one the hard way at Cowichan Arena Saturday night.

In their lone B.C. Hockey League game of the weekend, the Caps nursed a 3-1 lead into the last five minutes but gave up two late goals and finished regulation time tied 3-3 with the Langley Rivermen.

But Caps' veteran Mikael Jung salvaged the two points with a goal on a penalty shot in the second overtime for a 4-3 victory after a high-sticking penalty to the Rivermen's Matt Ustaski.

"It was a great bounce-back game for us,'' said Caps' forward Steen Cooper after a pair of one-goal losses the previous weekend to Nanaimo that garnered one point in the standings. "We need all the points we can get.''

The Caps were playing their first game since leading scorer Ryan Hanes and recent addition Alex Theriau were both summed by the Western Hockey League.

"It was a bit of a loss for us, obviously,'' said Cooper. "He (Ryan) was a leader on and off the ice. It's just an opportunity for other guys in the lineup to step up.''

Players like Cooper himself are now being counted on to play a larger role.

"I'm still the youngest guy on the team this year,'' said Cooper, who's in his sophomore BCHL season. "I try my best to guide, not the younger guys, but the guys that don't have the experience and how to carry yourself on and off the ice.''

Cooper recently committed to Minnesota State University in Mankato for the 2014-15 season after visiting the campus.

"It was the first time I'd ever been to the state of Minnesota,'' said Cooper. "It reminded me quite a bit of home.

"I got to go out and have dinner with the coaches and have dinner with a couple of the players. They took me on the whole tour.''

Cooper had also gone to Clarkson two weeks previously but quickly decided on Minnesota State when he makes the jump to college hockey.

"It was getting to a point where I was going to start losing sleep over (a decision),'' he said. "It was nice to get it out of the way.

"It was obviously the right decision. I'm really happy about it.''

Jarrett Brown, Grant Nicholson and Troy Paterson were the other goal-scorers against Langley.

The Caps have just one game again this weekend as their light schedule continues, hosting the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Friday at 7 p.m.


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