Two big victories vaulted the Cowichan Valley Bantam Capitals’ hockey team into the Island Tier 1 finals.
Coming off a 5-3 loss to Nanaimo in the first round of the playoffs, the Caps went into must-win situations to advance.
They accomplished the feat by beating Victoria Racquet Club 2-1 at Cowichan Arena Saturday and whitewashing Comox 10-0 on the road Sunday.
Ben Berard and Dawson Haines, with the winner early in the third period, scored goals in the Racquet Club game.
“There was lots of chances at both ends,’’ said Cowichan coach Derek Topping. “I thought we carried the bulk of the play, particularly in the second half.’’
The Caps jumped all over Comox with a hat trick by Ben Berard, two goals each from Tanner Tiel and Haines and singles by Connor Bissett, Ryan Hogg and Darian Harris.
“Typically, they’re definitely a weaker team, for sure,’’ said Topping.
But Comox had risen to the occasion earlier in the playoffs by tying Nanaimo.
The Caps finished the four-team round robin on top with a 2-1 record. Racquet Club was second at 2-1, but the Caps got the higher placing by virtue of the head-to-head meeting between the teams.
The opening game of the best-of-three final is set for Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. at Fuller Lake Arena.
The Bantam Caps are hosting the provincial Tier 1 championships at Cowichan Arena March 16 to 22. Planning has been under way for quite some time.
Midgets out of contention
The Cowichan Valley Midget Tier 1 Caps bowed out of playoff contention after two weekend losses.
The Caps were beaten 5-1 in Nanaimo Saturday. Graham Winship had the lone goal, assisted by Andrew Jack.
Seth Davis and Connor Sutton had goals in a 3-2 loss to Victoria Racquet Club Sunday. Chayse Elzinga (2) and Landen Bodger earned assists.
The Caps finished winless in the round robin playoff, with a tie against Comox in their previous game.