For the first time since late October and just the third time this season, the Cowichan Valley Capitals lost two B.C. Hockey League games in a row.
“It’s something you don’t want to do when you’re battling for position,” head coach Bob Beatty said. “They were two divisional games as well. We’ve got a tough stretch of our schedule coming up. That’s not what we wanted to do, for sure.”
On Friday, the Caps lost 6-2 to the Grizzlies in Victoria. Trailing just 2-1 after the first period, they surrendered four unanswered goals in the second. The Caps answered with one more in the third, but couldn’t get any closer than that.
“We certainly had a bad period,” Beatty said. “We had defensive lapses, and it showed on the scoreboard.”
Matthew Hudie opened the scoring, and Duncan’s Ryan Hogg had the third-period goal, his second in five games after going the first 54 games of his career without a goal.
The Caps managed to force overtime against the Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday, but ended up losing 4-3 when the Clippers scored in the second extra period.
“We played a better game, but they scored three powerplay goals in the second period, and that certainly cost us,” Beatty said. “I didn’t think they were totally undeserved, but we took some penalties that we just have to limit. We need more control of our sticks.”
Again, the Caps opened the scoring on a powerplay goal by Mitch Meek. Nanaimo pulled ahead with the first two goals of the second period before Duncan product Keenan Eddy scored his first junior A goal to even things up. The Clippers scored a late one to get out of the second with a 3-2 lead, but captain Adam Osczevski scored with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Eddy, who nearly cracked the Capitals roster out of training camp, was summoned from the junior B Kerry Park Islanders for the weekend games, and made an immediate impact, earning himself a few more games with the team.
“He’s been waiting patiently to get into the lineup, and he was able to contribute Saturday night,” Beatty said. “He’s showing that he wants to play. He’s been pretty serviceable. It was nice to see him score. It was a nice goal, and a big one at the time for us. He’ll definitely be in the lineup for the next few games.”
Despite the losses, Beatty was pleased with the way his goalies performed. Lane Michasiw stopped 24 of 30 shots against Victoria on Friday, and Storm Phaneuf made 31 saves against Nanaimo on Saturday.
“I thought in the second period [Friday], we left Lane out to dry,” Beatty said. “I thought he played a decent game. When you come out of the second period with six goals against, you might be wondering about your goaltender, but he wasn’t an issue on any of the goals that night.
“Storm gave us a chance to win on Saturday night. It was a hard-fought game.”
The Caps will host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in their last home game until Dec. 11.
“That’s a big one for us,” Beatty said. “We go on the road for the next five games. Powell River is a tough place to play, then we’re off to Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm. We’re a little banged up, so we have to stick together and try to get some points together.”
The Caps will be taking donations for their annual Toys, Toiletries and Toques drive on Wednesday. Anyone who brings in an item will receive half-price entry. Donations will go to help local families in need.