Goaltender McCoy Bidewell receives the MVP award from the Cowichan Valley Capitals coaches at the team’s annual banquet on March 20. (Submitted by the Cowichan Valley Capitals)

Goaltender McCoy Bidewell receives the MVP award from the Cowichan Valley Capitals coaches at the team’s annual banquet on March 20. (Submitted by the Cowichan Valley Capitals)

Cowichan Capitals prepare to face Alberni Bulldogs in BCHL playoffs

MVP McCoy Bidewell leads Caps into postseason

The last time the Cowichan Valley Capitals played a B.C. Hockey League playoff game, it was March 2020.

The Caps, who finished a close second to the Nanaimo Clippers in the Island Division standings, had just eliminated the Powell River Kings on a memorable goal by hometown hero Luciano Wilson in overtime of Game 5 when the league first postponed, then cancelled, the remainder of the postseason. The 2020-21 season was limited to just 20 games per team, with no playoffs at all.

This year, the Caps squeaked into the playoffs, and will begin their first-round playoff series against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs this Friday. The Bulldogs won the Coastal Division with a record of 25 wins, 15 regulation losses, three overtime losses and one shootout loss, while the Caps finished eighth in the division at 15-33-5-1.

The Caps won twice and lost seven times in nine games against the Bulldogs this season, going 1-4 at home and 1-3 in Port Alberni. Six of those games were decided by just one or two goals.

The schedule for the first-round series:

Friday, April 1 at Port Alberni (7 p.m.)

Saturday, April 2 at Port Alberni (7 p.m.)

Tuesday, April 5 at Cowichan (7 p.m.)

Wednesday, April 6 at Cowichan (7 p.m.)

*Friday, April 8 at Port Alberni (7 p.m.)

*Sunday, April 10 at Cowichan (4 p.m.)

*Monday, April 11 at Port Alberni (7 p.m.)

(* = if necessary)

The Caps were at their annual awards banquet on March 20 when they learned they had clinched a spot in the BCHL playoffs thanks to a loss by the Powell River Kings.

Goaltender McCoy Bidewell was named team MVP at the banquet and also received the 3 Star Award sponsored by The Lakehouse at Shawnigan. Bidewell joined the team a month and a half into the season and proved a vital acquisition, collecting 11 wins in 29 games with a 3.50 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.

Griffin Wilson was named Most Sportsmanlike (sponsored by the CVRD) and received the Faceoff Award. Ian Kern was named Top Defensive Defenceman and Unsung Hero (sponsored by Juice FM). David Jacobs was the team’s leading scorer (sponsored by the Lions Club) and received the Coaches Award.

The Most Popular Player award (sponsored by the Cowichan Valley Citizen) was shared by Brett Fudger and Sam Schofield, while Fudger was also named Most Inspirational and Schofield received the Community Involvement award (sponsored by the Cowichan Exhibition).

Other award winners:

Matty Edwards – Vivian Young Academic Achievement

Zach Brault – Most Improved (sponsored by RBC)

Colin Campbell – Top Gun Defenceman – (sponsored by Cowichan Collision)

Luke Haymes – Rookie of the Year (sponsored by D.M.A.N. Capital)

Karen Kusz – Jeff Price Volunteer of the Year

BCHL

 

Graduating 20-year-old players Brett Fudger, David Jacobs, Colin Campbell, Griffin Wilson and Shane LaVelle are recognized by Cowichan Valley Capitals coaches at the team’s annual awards banquet on March 20. (Submitted by the Cowichan Valley Capitals)

Graduating 20-year-old players Brett Fudger, David Jacobs, Colin Campbell, Griffin Wilson and Shane LaVelle are recognized by Cowichan Valley Capitals coaches at the team’s annual awards banquet on March 20. (Submitted by the Cowichan Valley Capitals)