Points on the road OK, but results could have been better

Caps' Karver Everson and Garrett Skrbich scramble to cover up on defence in front of goalie Patrick Spano, with Brad McClure and Penticton teammates buzzing around the net.
— image credit: Mark Brett (Penticton Western News)

The points the Cowichan Valley Capitals acquired on a three-game B.C. Hockey League weekend road trip to the Interior were tarnished somewhat because they blew second-period leads.

The Caps were ahead of the Smoke Easters in Trail 4-3 after 40 minutes Friday and held a 2-0 advantage at the same stage Saturday in Vernon against the Vipers. In each case, the Caps earned a point for overtime losses — 5-4 to the Smoke Eaters and 3-2 to the Vipers.

"It's almost more frustrating having a lead and losing it,'' said Caps' coach Aaron Plumb.

The Caps were actually up 4-2 late in the second on Trail when Luke Sandler closed the gap to one late in the period. Sandler also scored the lone goal of the third, setting the stage for Valik Chichkin's winner two minutes into the three-on-three overtime.

Jarrett Brown, Garrett Skrbich, Jamie Waddington and Mikael Jung scored for the Caps.

Skrbich and Jesse Neher staked the Caps to the 2-0 lead in Vernon before the Vipers stormed back in the third to tie it on goals by Mitch McAllister and Mason Blacklock, who also potted the winner with 36 seconds left in the four-on-four overtime.

"We just quit finishing checks and we let them start skating,'' said Plumb of the turnaround in the game.

The last game of the trip Sunday in Penticton was no contest despite the best efforts of goalie Patrick Spano. He was still named the game's third star despite giving up seven goals in a 7-1 win by the defending Royal Bank Cup national champion Vees.

Waddington had the lone marker for the Caps against the Vees' Nic Renyard, a former Cowichan Valley rep goalie, in the second period. Spano faced a barrage of 45 shots.

"That team is a real good team,'' said Plumb. "I knew they were going to be good. When I watched them play, I was real surprised at the skill and the speed.''

The Caps didn't have time to make the last ferry Sunday night so the players went to a movie as a group in Penticton before heading home and arriving back in Duncan around 8 a.m. Monday.

The Caps took the day off and are now getting ready for another big weekend, with back-to-back games against the Grizzlies in Victoria Friday and Saturday at Cowichan Arena. They're also taking on Surrey Sunday at 4 p.m. at Cowichan  Arena.

"We've got some pretty fun games coming up,'' said Plumb. "Obviously, we get to see Keyler Bruce, our old captain, and play against him.''

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