Niko Esposito-Selivanov had four points for the Caps in their 7-4 win over the Victoria Grizzlies on Wednesday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Empty-net goals make the difference as Caps top Grizzlies

Cowichan scores three into open net in 7-4 victory

The Cowichan Valley Capitals scored three empty-net goals in a wild three and a half minutes at the end of their 7-4 win over the Victoria Grizzlies at the Island Savings Centre on Wednesday night.

The Caps took a 4-1 lead into the third period. The Grizzlies made it 4-2 with 3:39 left in regulation and pulled goalie Kyle Dumba for the extra attacker. Preston Brodziak scored the first empty-netter 27 seconds later, and Niko Esposito-Selivanov sent the puck into the open cage with exactly two minutes left to play.

Continuing to battle, the Grizzlies made it 6-3 with one minute remaining on the clock. Esposito-Selivanov responded with his second empty-netter 21 seconds after that. Still refusing to quit, Victoria got one more before time expired.

Esposito-Selivanov was one of five Caps to record multiple points on the night, finishing with two goals and two assists. Brodziak also scored two, defenceman Doug Scott had a goal and an assist, and Adam Conquest and Jordan Robert each posted two helpers. Blueliner David Melaragni and rookie forward Luc Wilson also scored for Cowichan.

Robert was making his first appearance for the Caps since suffering an injury during the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack on Sept. 22.

Both goalies — Jack Grant for the Caps and Dumba for the Grizzlies — stopped 40 of 44 shots as the empty-netters ended up making all the difference. The Caps went 2-for-4 on the powerplay, while the Grizzlies went scoreless on three opportunities.

The win was the third for the Caps in November as they finish the month with a record of three wins, four losses and four overtime defeats. They remain last in the Island Division, two points back of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

The Caps are back in action on home ice when they host the West Kelowna Warriors on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Powell River Kings visit next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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