Massimo Sarantos Lombardi scored twice as the Cowichan Valley Capitals fell 5-3 in their playoff opener against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday night. (Citizen file)

Massimo Sarantos Lombardi scored twice as the Cowichan Valley Capitals fell 5-3 in their playoff opener against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday night. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Capitals drop playoff opener in Port Alberni

Sarantos Lombardi scores twice, but Bulldogs take 1-0 series lead

Massimo Sarantos Lombardi scored the first two goals of the game, but the Cowichan Valley Capitals couldn’t hold on as they fell 5-3 in the opening game of their first-round playoff series against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday night.

The Caps were up 2-1 after the opening period, but the Bulldogs scored twice in the second to go up 3-2. Shane LaVelle evened the score for the Caps early in the third, but the Bulldogs went ahead with just under nine minutes left, then added an insurance marker with 2:24 remaining in regulation.

Cowichan’s regular-season MVP, goalie McCoy Bidewell, stopped 33 of 38 shots. Alberni’s Hobie Hedquist, a finalist for the B.C Hockey League’s top goaltending award, stopped 21 of 24 shots.

The Caps converted their lone powerplay opportunity of the night, while the Bulldogs went 2-for-4 with the advantage.

The teams will play again in Port Alberni on Saturday night, then head to the Cowichan Arena next Tuesday and Wednesday (April 5 and 6) for games at 7 p.m.

BCHL