The 2022/23 BCHL season got underway on home ice, Sept. 23, for the Cowichan Valley Capitals when the new-look Caps, with just a couple of players returning from last season, played host to the Kelowna Warriors.
Luke Strickland had the only goal for the home team, scoring at 19:12 of the third period on the powerplay in the team’s 2-1 loss. Aaron Brown earned the assist.
Goalie McCoy Bidewell saved 48 of 50 shots on net and earned the game’s second star honours.
In their second home game in as many nights, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs were in town and were the first team to score with a goal midway through the second period. It wasn’t Alberni’s first attempt to score, however, as Bidewell was on his game early, stopping a penalty shot early in the first on his way to saving 49 of 50 and earning first-star honours.
Headed into the third down 1-0, Cowichan knew they needed to step it up and step it up they did.
Just over eight minutes in, Brown found Strickland on the powerplay to get the Caps on the board and less than two minutes later Brown and Logan Camp worked to feed the game’s second star, Andrew Haxton, for his first of the year. The goal put the Caps up by one and an empty-netter for Strickland as the last 20 seconds ticked down, from Camp and Massimo Sarantos Lombardi, sealed the 3-1 victory for the home team.
The Caps next play Friday, Sept. 20 at The Stick. The puck drops at 7 p.m.