Thomas Gobeil had six points over two games last Saturday and Sunday as the Cowichan Valley Capitals recovered from a disastrous outing on Friday to salvage four points on the weekend.
"He had a big weekend; he scored some big goals for us," head coach Bob Beatty said of Gobeil, who missed 13 games with an injury earlier in the season but has since shown a return to the form he displayed in training camp. "We’re not going to get multiple goals from him every night, but I think he’s getting back on track."
The Caps were blanked 6-0 by the Victoria Grizzlies at home on Friday, but bounced back to defeat the Clippers 3-1 in Nanaimo on Saturday and the Langley Rivermen 6-4 back at the Island Savings Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Friday’s setback against the team Cowichan is chasing for the fourth playoff spot in the Island Division didn’t have Beatty feeling good about the rest of the weekend.
"That was one of the worst, if not the worst game of the year," he said "We came out extremely flat. We didn’t put much together. Victoria was playing pretty well and we weren’t clicking. We didn’t have the jump I thought we would have in a game like that."
Michael Stilladis had to make just 19 saves to earn the shutout, while Matt Zentner made 29 saves on 25 shots in the Cowichan net.
On Saturday, goalie Lane Michasiw had one of his best games of the year, stopping 37 of 38 shots as the Caps beat the Clippers. Nanaimo opened the scoring, but Gobeil pulled the Caps even with a powerplay goal in the final minute of the first period.
Gobeil scored again in the second to put the Caps ahead, and Skylar Pacheco – who assisted on both of Gobeil’s markers – added an empty-netter after the Caps killed off a couple of late penalties.
"That one was a nail-biter for sure," Beatty said.
Gobeil scored the first two goals of the game on Sunday, and the Caps went into the first intermission with a 2-1 edge. Langley tied the score early in the second period, but Gobeil completed his hat trick to regain the lead. Langley again made it a tie game early in the third, but it didn’t last long as Sean Harrison and Kyle Horsman gave Cowichan a two-goal lead. The Rivermen got back within a goal again, but Adam Osczevski iced the victory for the Caps with five and a half minutes remaining.
"Our third game of the weekend I thought was our best game," Beatty said. "That’s not usually the case, but there’s no explanation as to why our performance was that different from Friday to Sunday."
Gobeil finished the night with three goals and an assist, while linemate Darien Craighead had four helpers. Harrison and Horsman had a goal and an assist each, and Kade Kehoe had two assists. Zentner returned to the crease and stopped 34 of 38 shots.
The Caps will continue a busy stretch this week as they host the Clippers on Wednesday, then visit the Rivermen on Friday and the Prince George Spruce Kings on Sunday.
"We hope to keep things rolling," Beatty said. "We’ve won five of seven, but I think we need to win seven of five to make up the ground we’ve lost."