The Cowichan Valley Capitals ended 2016 on an unfortunate note as the result of their last game didn’t quite match the effort.
The Caps lost 3-1 to the Victoria Grizzlies at the Island Savings Centre on Dec. 30, but head coach Bob Beatty wasn’t disappointed with the way his team performed.
“I didn’t mind our game at all,” Beatty said. “I liked our effort; we just didn’t score. We outshot them. For the first game back after Christmas, it wasn’t a bad pace. I wasn’t disappointed with anything except for the score.”
The Grizzlies scored late in the first period and early in the second. Max Newton sniped his team-leading 19th of the season at 4:44 of the third, set up by Chris Harpur, who recorded his team-best 24th assist. That was as close as they would get as the Grizzlies added one more with 12 seconds remaining in the contest.
The Caps outshot the Grizzlies 33-27, but only beat Victoria goalie Matthew Galajda once. Lane Michasiw made 24 saves in the Cowichan net.
“Their goalie was the difference,” Beatty said. “I thought Lane played a solid game as well. We were only able to get one puck past Galajda, but we probably out-chanced them. I would say he was the first star of the game for sure.”
Neither team managed to score with the man advantage as the Caps went 0-for-5 on the powerplay, while the Grizzlies were 0-for-2.
The Caps will begin 2017 on the road as they visit the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Wednesday and the Nanaimo Clippers on Friday. They return home on Sunday to host the Coquitlam Express at 2 p.m.
The team hits the road for three games on the Mainland the weekend after, followed by three more games against Island Division opponents, including a home-and-home series with Victoria.
The Caps currently sit third in the division, behind Victoria and Powell River, but ahead of Nanaimo and Alberni Valley.
“It’s a busy month,” Beatty said. “We play a lot of divisional games. We definitely have to create some momentum. We’re not guaranteed a playoff spot, so we need to put ourselves into a good position.”
Beatty’s team will also be looking at the calendar this week as the B.C. Hockey League trade deadline approaches on Tuesday.
“Like anybody else, we’re looking to improve our team,” Beatty said, noting that his team is currently one player over the roster limit when factoring in players who are expected to come off the injured reserve.