Matthew Crasa had a phenomenal weekend for the Cowichan Valley Capitals, posting an unofficial hat trick on Friday, then getting the real thing on Saturday as his team collected three of a possible four points.
Crasa scored twice in regulation on Friday, then was the only Cowichan player to score in the shootout as the Caps lost 6-5 at home against the Trail Smoke Eaters. In Powell River the next day, Crasa scored three times in regulation to lead his team to a 6-3 victory over the Kings.
In just eight games since he joined the Caps in late September, the New York City native has scored nine times and added a pair of assists to rank among the B.C. Hockey League’s leaders in points-per-game.
The Caps took a 4-3 lead into the third period on Friday, and Crasa made it 5-3 just before the two-and-a-half-minute mark. Trail’s Michael Colella scored his second of the game just over three minutes later, then completed his hat trick and tied it up at 5-5 with less than two minutes left to play.
Nothing was sorted out by five minutes of three-on-three overtime sending the game to a shootout. Crasa scored on the Caps’ first shootout attempt before Trail netminder Logan Terness turned aside the next five Cowichan shooters. Meanwhile, Trail’s second shooter and the BCHL’s leading scorer, Kent Johnson, scored, then Borgiel stopped the next three before he was beaten by Max Kryski as the Caps took a single point in their first game of 2019-20 to go longer than 60 minutes.
In addition to Crasa, the Caps got goals from Brady Lynn, Will Arquiett and Tanner Sidaway, who scored his first BCHL goal after three years in the Western Hockey League, while Luc Wilson added two assists. Both teams had 36 shots in regulation and overtime, Borgiel making 30 saves and Trail’s Donovan Buskey and Logan Terness combined for 31. Cowichan forward Cole Broadhurst left the game after blocking a shot late in the third period, and didn’t play the next night either.
On Saturday, the Caps travelled to Powell River for the first time since Sept. 15, when the Kings handed them their first loss of the season. Cowichan outscored Powell River 2-1 in each period to win by a comfortable margin.
In the first period, it was Crasa and rookie David Wang — who registered his first BCHL assist on Friday — doing the damage. Crasa scored both second-period goals. The third-period games came from Sidaway, with his second in two games, and Primo Self. Sidaway finished with a goal and two assists, and Self totalled a goal and one helper. Borgiel made 37 saves to collect his league-leading 10th win as the Caps were outshot 40-38.
The Caps remain first in the Island Division, two points ahead of the Nanaimo Clippers, and are tied for second in the league with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, one point back of the Penticton Vees.
Cowichan visited the Victoria Grizzlies on Tuesday night for the first part of a home-and-home series that will conclude at the Cowichan Arena on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Caps will also host the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday at 6 p.m.