Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Zach Brooks celebrates his goal against the Powell River Kings in last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Coach looking for more as Cowichan Capitals head to Powell River

Defence and special teams need to be better despite 2-0 lead, Vandekamp says

The Cowichan Valley Capitals headed to Powell River with a 2-0 lead over the Kings in their first-round B.C. Hockey League playoff series after two games in the Cowichan Arena on the weekend, but head coach Mike Vandekamp wasn’t satisfied.

The Caps scored five unanswered goals to come back and win 6-3 on Friday, then got by the Kings 7-6 in overtime on Saturday. Saturday’s game, especially, wasn’t good enough for the coach.

“We know that we need to play better,” he said. “Obviously, this time of year, you take wins however you get them. It’s a tough road.”

The two games weren’t short on individual heroes, as Brady Lynn scored twice on Friday and added the overtime winner on Saturday, and Primo Self potted his first hat trick on Saturday, but Vandekamp was looking for a better team game going forward.

“We have to play better and keep pucks out of our net,” he said. “I don’t think we can rely on scoring to win this time of year. It definitely can’t be our approach to be winning 7-6.”

On Friday, Lynn scored late in the second period with his team down 3-1, and his teammates carried the momentum into the third. Cruz Cote needed just 17 seconds to even the score in the third, and Will Arquiett gave Cowichan the lead less than 90 seconds later. Zach Brooks added another shortly after the Caps killed off a double minor he took for high sticking, and Lynn topped it all off with his second of the night.

“It felt good out there,” Lynn said. “I felt like my feet were moving and everyone just played a good game. I thought we played a great game.”

The Kings struck first midway through the opening period, but the Caps came on stronger in the second. Moments after he was denied on a breakaway, Matt Crasa got the Caps on the board with a powerplay goal at 5:40 of the second. The Kings pulled ahead again just over a minute after that, then went up 3-1 with a powerplay marker of their own at 14:32. Lynn got put Cowichan back within a goal before the middle frame was over.

Lynn added an assist to finish with three points on the night. Luciano Wilson and Dimitri Mikrogiannakis also recorded three helpers apiece.

Cowichan netminder Zach Borgiel outplayed Powell River counterpart Derek Krall, stopping 38 of 41 shots, while Krall finished with 34 stops on 40 shots.

On Saturday, Lynn scored at 13:58 of overtime to salvage the night after the Caps gave away a three-goal second-period lead. The Caps were up 6-3 late in the second and took a 6-4 lead into the third period, but the Kings got within one midway through the final frame, then tied the score with 12 seconds left in regulation.

Cowichan defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis admitted some of the younger players might have been nervous going into overtime, but 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,” he said. “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.”

Borgiel finished with 47 saves as the Caps were outshot 53-40.

The Cowichan players were both thrilled and relieved to head to Powell River with two wins under their belts.

“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,” Mikrogiannakis said.

The Caps were among the best teams in the league on the powerplay and penalty kill in the regular season, and the Kings were among the worst in both, but the Caps went 1-for-6 with the advantage over both games, and the Kings went 5-for-11, including 4-for-6 on Saturday.

“It’s not every day you’re going to lose special teams battles as badly as we did and win games,” Vandekamp observed. “We need to be better on the penalty kill.”

The coach expected more from his team when the series resumed in Powell River on Tuesday night.

“We need to play better. We need to defend better. We need better special teams. The word of the day is to try to improve.”

If the best-of-seven series isn’t decided after games in Powell River on Tuesday and Wednesday, the teams will return to the Cowichan Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. Further games are scheduled for Saturday in Powell River and next Monday in Duncan, also at 7 p.m.

Visit cowichanvalleycitizen.com for updates.

BCHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Nolan Barrett (7) and forward Luciano Wilson (22) skate to the boards to celebrate Brady Lynn’s first of two goals against the Powell River Kings in last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Zach Brooks scores against Powell River Kings goaltender Derek Krall during last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Will Arquiett (18) celebrates with teammates Primo Self (8) and Zach Brooks (25) after his goal against the Powell River Kings in last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Matt Crasa gets a step on Powell River Kings defenders during last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Matt Crasa skates past Powell River Kings defenders during last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman-turned-forward John Howie carries the puck into the Powell River Kings’ zone during last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Brady Lynn celebrates his second goal of the night against the Powell River Kings during last Friday’s BCHL playoff game at the Cowichan Arena, won 6-3 by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Nolan Barrett moves the puck out of his team’s end during Saturday’s BCHL playoff game against the Powell River Kings, won 7-6 in overtime by the Caps. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Brady Lynn is mobbed by teammates after scoring the decisive goal in his team’s 7-6 overtime win over the Powell River Kings in the BCHL playoffs last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Primo Self celebrates as hats rain down after his third goal of the night during Cowichan’s 7-6 overtime win over the Powell River Kings in the BCHL playoffs last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Just Posted

North Cowichan Mayor assesses drive-by celebration situation in Crofton

Siebring says bylaw officer’s response to a complaint routinely done all the time

Summer tubing ban on Cowichan River lifted

The Tube Shack opening on June 27

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Hot ticket: Tickets on sale tonight for drive-in theatre at Cowichan Exhibition

Fresh Air Cinema bringing Onward and The Lion King to the big screen at the Cowichan Exhibition

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Duncan school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read