Despite a frustrating 2-1 overtime loss to the Powell River Kings last Friday night, the Cowichan Valley Capitals managed not to lose any heart, and carried their renewed effort over into a 4-2 win over the Penticton Vees on Sunday afternoon.
"It was a bit of a disappointing loss on Friday, but overall we were very happy with the weekend," head coach Bob Beatty said. "Our work-rate and effort were there both games. I thought we played pretty well."
The Kings opened the scoring midway through the first period of Friday’s game, but veteran defenceman Rylan Bechtel got the Caps on the board with a powerplay marker at 8:46 of the second.
The score remained the same through the end of regulation and into overtime, until the Kings converted a powerplay with Cowichan defenceman Julien Lepage in the box for high-sticking.
"It would have been nice to get the extra point, for sure," Beatty said. "It was a good atmosphere and a good crowd. I think everybody left thinking we got the short end of the stick."
It was Parents’ Weekend, so the players may have had some extra motivation to skate hard.
"I don’t know if it was their parents’ presence or what, but they certainly worked," Beatty said. "The two kids we got in the trade last week [Kade Kehoe and Adam Osczevski] certainly injected some enthusiasm. They were exactly what we expected and more."
After a scoreless first period on Sunday, the Vees got on the board with a powerplay goal just 72 seconds into the second. Sean Harrison tied the score, then set up Kyle Horsman for the go-ahead goal, which the Vees managed to neutralize before the end of the second.
Horsman and Skylar Pacheco scored unanswered goals for Cowichan in the third.
In addition to Harrison and Horsman, Bechtel also finished the night with two points on a pair of helpers.
Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey product and former Capital Steen Cooper was held scoreless in the contest, which was likely his last visit to Duncan. Cooper has seven points in 21 games for Penticton this season and has committed to play at Minnesota State next season.
In both games, the Capitals’ last line of defence was solid. Lane Michasiw earned first-star honours on Friday with 28 saves on 30 shots over 62 minutes and 15 seconds of action, including a save on a penalty shot in the first period, and on Sunday, Matt Zentner finished the night with 29 saves on 31 shots.
"Our goaltenders gave us excellent games," Beatty said. "They both made some great stops to keep us in the games."
The Caps will head into the Interior next weekend, visiting the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Friday, the Vees on Saturday, and the Merritt Centennials on Sunday.
"They’re all good teams, no doubt," Beatty said. "And we haven’t had a lot of luck on the road, but if we play the way we did this weekend, we have a chance to bring home a couple of wins."