Unable to keep the momentum going after their season-opening win last Saturday, the Cowichan Valley Capitals were beaten 6-1 by the Victoria Grizzlies at the Island Savings Centre on Tuesday evening.
“As good as we were on Saturday, we were just as bad [Tuesday],” head coach Bob Beatty said. “We just didn’t execute. You’d think they’d have a case of the nerves and be wound a little tight on Saturday, but they handled that well. [Against Victoria] we didn’t establish any presence on the forecheck and we weren’t getting pucks on tape. We were slow getting in on the forecheck and slow getting back. We made it look pretty easy for them.”
The Grizzlies scored three times — including powerplay and shorthanded markers — in the first period, once in the second and twice more in the third. Darren Hards potted the Capitals’ lone goal at 7:25 of the second period.
A surprising bright spot for the Capitals was the goaltending of Adam Marcoux, who stopped 30 of 36 shots in his B.C. Hockey League debut, making exactly twice as many saves as Matthew Galajda did at the other end of the rink.
“I kind of felt bad for Adam,” Beatty said. “In his first regular-season game, we kind of hung him out. You can’t often say a goalie played well in a 6-1 loss, but it could have easily been 6-0 in the first period, and he didn’t quit. I’m not disappointed in his performance at all. He deserved better support in front of him.”
The Caps will get another crack at Victoria this weekend, although it will be in the Grizzlies’ home rink.
“We’ve got them again Saturday,” Beatty noted. “They’ll be riding pretty high, and we have to address our performance. It’s a matter of keeping an even keel; we’re not going to panic because we didn’t play well. We showed what we’re capable of last Saturday, and we didn’t come close to it [on Tuesday].”
Things won’t get any easier for the Caps after their rematch with the Grizzlies at the Q Centre on Saturday. On Sunday, they have an afternoon date with the Penticton Vees at the Island Savings Centre.
“We have to play more like we did last Saturday night,” Beatty said. “We have to be on top of things both nights this weekend. Victoria is 8-0 if you include exhibition games, and Penticton is a perennial favourite and they’re hosting the Western Canada Cup this year, so you know they’ve beefed up. We’ve got a real good challenge ahead of us this weekend.”