Offence has been hard to come by for the Cowichan Valley Capitals this season. The team is averaging just 2.59 goals per game overall, the second-lowest number in the B.C. Hockey League, and they’ve scored just five times in five games so far in January.
It really doesn’t help matters to have two goals disallowed — questionably — in the same game. But that’s what happened to the Caps against the Langley Rivermen last Sunday afternoon.
On the first non-goal, the Rivermen had their goalie pulled for the extra man on a delayed penalty call and tried to pass the puck up the middle only for it to go in off a Cowichan player’s skate. The refs waved off the goal, telling Cowichan head coach Brian Passmore that the puck can’t go in off an opposing player in that situation. Passmore knew that was wrong, and the referees eventually acknowledged their error, but only when it was too late to rectify it.
On the second non-goal, the Langley goalie lost his blocker, at which point the refs should have blown the play down. They didn’t, however, and the Caps scored. By the time the Caps put the puck in the net, the goalie had his blocker back, but the officials disallowed the goal anyway.
“At that point, it’s a 4-4 game if those two goals counted,” Passmore noted. “It wasn’t a 6-2 type game.”
The game started well for the Caps, with Sam Schofield opening the scoring on an early powerplay. Langley answered back with three in the first, one in the second and another in the third before Luke Haymes scored the Caps’ second of the afternoon. The Rivermen added one more after that. McCoy Bidewell made 44 saves as the Caps were outshot 44-40.
The night before, the Caps were shut out 4-0 by the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in Port Alberni.
The Bulldogs scored a powerplay goal in the first period, but the Caps hung in there until the third, when the Bulldogs put it away with three more.
“When they got their second one, the wheels fell off,” Passmore said.
Hobie Hedquist made 34 saves for the shutout, while Bidewell stopped 40 of 44 Alberni shots. It was the second time this month that the Bulldogs have shut out the Caps. Alberni has outscored Cowichan 10-1 in three meetings since Jan. 1. The Caps visit the Nanaimo Clippers on Friday, then host the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday at 7 p.m