Capitals forward Colten Thompson tries to beat Alberni’s Nicholas Beneteau to the puck during BCHL preseason action at the Cowichan Arena last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Capitals forward Colten Thompson tries to beat Alberni’s Nicholas Beneteau to the puck during BCHL preseason action at the Cowichan Arena last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Capitals make last-minute moves before season opener

Puck drops Saturday at 7 p.m. as Caps host Alberni

With a couple of trades in the last 10 days and a handful of players set to return from injuries, the Cowichan Valley Capitals will be ready when the puck drops for their B.C. Hockey League season opener against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday.

“We’re almost complete,” Capitals head coach and general manager Brian Passmore said on Wednesday morning. “There might be one more move we have to make.”

That one move will be the acquisition of a goalie, which Passmore expected to happen on Wednesday or Thursday. The netminding position has been in constant flux for the Caps throughout training camp, as the team lost expected No. 1 Will Gurski to the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants, then traded his heir, Jayden Shull, to the Nanaimo Clippers on Tuesday. That leaves the club with Evan May alone in the crease for the moment.

Klim Georgiyev, the blueliner the Caps acquired from Nanaimo, is a big body at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. He didn’t play last season, but posted 24 points and 115 penalty minutes in 48 games with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2019-20.

“He’ll be a guy that’s going to add to the depth of our defence,” Passmore said. “He’s not an offensive guy, but he can make the first pass and help with the break-out and transition.”

Late last week, the Caps added 20-year-old forward Adam Jeffery from Alberni for future considerations.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Jeffery had eight goals and 11 assists in 19 games for the Bulldogs in the shortened 2020-21 season after spending the previous two seasons with his hometwn Leamington Flyers in the junior B Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, where he put up 92 points in 94 contests.

“Adam is a big power forward with a great shooting ability,” Passmore commented. “He is a playmaker and a consistent offensive point producer, with a strong compete level. Adam is a smart, mature player and will play a key role in our top forward lines and help on the power play.”

Including a pair of losses to the Bulldogs this past weekend, the Caps finished their exhibition slate with just one win in seven games, but Passmore isn’t concerned about that record.

“We had a lot of injuries,” he noted. “We had at least four forwards who weren’t able to play the last four games, but they’re all healthy now. We didn’t play with the lineup we’re going to have this weekend, and we’ve had a full week to practice.”

The Caps lost both games against Alberni by 5-1 scores, with David Jacobs responsible for both goals, including a shorthanded marker in the second game on Saturday night. The Caps will line up against the Bulldogs again this Saturday at 7 p.m., and Passmore expects a close contest.

“Saturday will be an intense game,” he said. “They like to attack; they’re not a sit-back team. And we’re going to attack them.”

The Caps will visit the Victoria Grizzlies the following afternoon. That will be followed by two more home games against Victoria: next Wednesday and next Saturday, both at 7 p.m.

BCHL