Cowichan Caps lose one, make trade deadline deals

The Cowichan Capitals didn’t get the result they were hoping for in Friday’s home game at the Island Savings Centre against the Nanaimo Clippers, coming out on the wrong side of a 5-2 loss.

"I thought we played fairly well," said Cowichan Capitals head coach Bob Beatty. "I didn’t think it was a 5-2 game."

"It’s a little bit of puck luck on their part, too," he added.

Nanaimo and Cowichan traded goals in the first period, with Nanaimo notching the first point just 12 minutes into the game. Beatty said the goal happened just 20 seconds after the Caps missed an open net. The Caps came back to tie the score at 16:29 of the first off a goal by Julien Lepage, with assists from Kade Kehoe and Ryan Burton.

The Capitals made it 2-1 early in the second off a power play goal by Sean Harrison, with assists from Darien Craighead and Thomas Gobeil.

But after that it was all Nanaimo in the remainder of the second and third periods, as the Clippers went on to score four more unanswered goals to take the win. Beatty said the transition point was when the Clippers scored the tying goal in the second on a power play, with just eight seconds left in the period.

The first and third periods slipped by with just three penalties apiece, but the second frame was littered with 14 penalties, with eight going against the capitals.

It was the first game for newcomer Connor Russell, who played well, Beatty said.

The loss doesn’t help the Capitals in their bid to make it to the playoffs.

"They’re all pivotal games at this point," Beatty said, pointing out that the team knows they need to win 75-80 per cent of their remaining contests to qualify. "We’ll plug away and take it one game at a time."

The Capitals also made a number of moves before the trade deadline on Jan. 10.

New to the lineup is Michal Holub who was picked up from playing Junior B hockey in Mission, B.C. "He’s a bigger body that has some skill that we think will contribute for us," said Beatty. Beatty said the team also made a couple of trades with an eye to next year’s team.

Forward Thomas Gobeil goes to the Victoria Grizzlies in return for future considerations, and defenceman Ryan Coghlan heads to the Nanaimo Clippers, also for future considerations.

Keegan Milligan has been traded to the Melville Millionaires in Saskatchewan for future considerations.

The Capitals will play their next game on Tuesday night against the Victoria Grizzlies, at home in Duncan, starting at 7:15 p.m. They will then face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday, also at home.