Brady Lynn scored in overtime and Primo Self scored three goals in regulation as the Cowichan Valley Capitals took a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Powell River Kings with a thrilling 7-6 victory at the Cowichan Arena on Saturday night.
Lynn scored at 13:58 of the first extra session, one night after his two-goal effort led the Caps to a 6-3 win over the Kings in game one.
“It’s always nice to start off a series up, and we’ve just got to go into Powell River and take the next one, too,” commented Cowichan all-star defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis, who picked up an assist on Self’s second goal.
The Caps took a 6-4 lead into the third period, but the Kings got within one midway through the frame, then tied the score with 12 seconds left in regulation.
A veteran of four seasons of junior hockey, including 33 playoff games after Saturday, Mikrogiannakis admitted some of the younger players might have been nervous going into overtime, but head coach Mike Vandekamp was able to calm any nerves.
“I know Mike’s coached us well, so he settled some of us down,” the blueliner said. “For me, I’ve been in a lot of those situations, played a lot of junior games, so I was OK, but I think the older guys, the veterans and our coaching staff did a good job keeping composure in the room.”
The teams were deadlocked 3-3 after the first period, Cowichan’s goals coming from Self, Matt Crasa and Austin Chorney. Self added two more in the second, and defenceman Cullen Ferguson potted one.
Self also assisted on Chorney’s goal and finished with four points on the night.
“It felt good. I had a really great game, so that was nice to see. My linemates make it really easy, so I just had to put the puck in the net, and luckily I could do that tonight, so that’s a great feeling.”
Making the trip to Vancouver Island from Michigan, Self’s parents were in the arena for his feat.
“They got in yesterday, so it’s nice to have them here in the building and get to see them for a little bit,” he said. “
Cowichan netminder Zach Borgiel had a busy night as he faced 53 shots and turned aside 47. The Caps fired 40 pucks at the Powell River net, chasing starter Derek Krall after he allowed five goals on 24 shots. Thomas Wardle gave up two goals on 16 shots in relief.
The teams will head to Powell River for games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We’ve worked all year for this, so for it to start paying off, that’s good,” said Self. “We’ve just got to keep it going, and hopefully we can get two in their rink.”