A three-point night by Myles Powell gave the Cowichan Valley Capitals another valuable victory on Wednesday as they battle down the stretch for a berth in the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.
Powell assisted on second-period goals by Mason Malkowich and Brayden Gelsinger, then finished the night off with an empty netter as the Caps defeated the Clippers 3-1 in Nanaimo.
The Caps knew the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, their rivals for the last Island Division playoff spot, were in action at the same time, but focused on the task at hand.
"We were pretty businesslike," head coach Bob Beatty said. "I thought we played a pretty solid game. Obviously you’re not checking the score of the other game while the game is on, and if you are, you’re not sharing it with the players."
When the night was done, the Bulldogs had also picked up a win, beating the Powell River
Kings 4-0 and keeping the Caps’ edge in the standings at just one point. Both teams have five games remaining.
Malkowich finished the night with two points, picking up an assist on Gelsinger’s goal. Goalie Robin Gusse was near-perfect, stopping 37 of 38 shots for the win.
"Gusse made the saves he needed to make," Beatty said. "We didn’t allow as many scoring chances as we have at other times. I thought we limited their chances pretty well. We didn’t cough up a lot of pucks in our end."
The Caps have just one game this weekend as they play host to the Merritt Centennials on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Like Cowichan, Merritt is in a dogfight for a playoff spot, sitting one point ahead of Salmon Arm for fourth place in the Interior Division.
"They’ll be at full speed, no doubt," Beatty said. "They’re a pretty good team, and they’re in a tough battle."