Overtime heroics give Capitals road split with Powell River

A double-overtime goal by Darien Craighead on Saturday evening gave the Cowichan Valley Capitals a split in their two-game road trip to Powell River last weekend.

The Caps had lost 6-1 to the Kings on Friday, but salvaged the visit with the 3-2 win on Saturday.

"We finally got a win in Powell River, so that was good," head coach Bob Beatty said. "I guess we’re satisfied with a split. Wins have been scarce and it’s tough to win in Powell River."

The Caps trailed 3-0 before they finally got on the board at the 14:20 mark of the second period when defenceman Rylan Bechtel scored. They allowed two more goals before the middle frame was over and one more in the third. Goalie Lane Michasiw allowed six goals as the Caps were outshot 43-28.

"We had a decent start to the game, but once we got down, I wouldn’t say we coasted, but we didn’t have a really sharp performance," Beatty said.

Craighead scored 37 seconds into the second overtime as the Caps edged the Kings on Saturday.

After a pair of powerplay goals, the Kings led 2-0 midway through the second, but rookie Sean Harrison got the Caps on the board with just over four minutes left to play. Kade Kehoe tied the score on a Cowichan powerplay just two minutes and 15 seconds into the third. The teams remained deadlocked through the end of regulation and five minutes of four-on-four overtime, setting up Craighead’s three-on-three heroics. Matthew Zentner made 37 saves on 40 shots over 65 minutes and 37 seconds of action.

Beatty saw a few things his team did better on Saturday than Friday.

"I think it was just a matter of containing their first line a bit better," he said. "We were better in our defensive zone. I’ve got to hand it to our penalty killers; they did a tremendous job, and Matt Zentner had a real strong game in net when they did get chances."

The Caps have won three of their last four games to improve their record to seven wins, 19 losses and one overtime defeat. They will now embark on a stretch of the B.C. Hockey League season that will see them play nine games in just 16 days. That begins this weekend when they play the Victoria Grizzlies at home on Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Clippers in Nanaimo on Saturday, and the Langley Rivermen at home on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Grizzlies sit fourth in the Island Division, and the Caps will have to unseat them to get into playoff position. Nanaimo leads the Island Division, while Langley is third in the Mainland Division.

"Obviously, Friday night is a huge game," Beatty said. "Victoria has made a coaching change, so we’ll see what they have to bring, but they are still the team we need to catch first. Nanaimo is a good team, and we haven’t seen Langley, but we know they’re strong."