There’s something strange about early-season B.C. Hockey League battles between the Cowichan Valley Capitals and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
“Very weird matchups with those guys,’’ conceded Caps’ coach Jim Ingram after his team defeated the Bulldogs 6-4 Sept. 28 night at Cowichan Arena for its first win since the opening game of the Showcase tournament in Chilliwack Sept. 8.
A previous meeting with the Bulldogs ended in an 8-7 shootout loss for the Caps in Port Alberni.
“It had that feel again,’’ said Ingram of a high-scoring affair. “It’s never over.’’
The second period actually ended with the Caps leading 6-4 and there was no scoring in the third.
“We talked about coverage in our zone and lack thereof after the second period,’’ said Ingram.
The Caps tightened up and protected the lead well, giving up just nine shots in the third.
“When you go young on the back end, you want to be out there in your dress shoes helping out any way you can,’’ quipped Ingram.
It’s simply a process that will take time for the young defence corps to become a unit.
“We’ve got a good feel about us,’’ said Ingram. “We knew we were going to have some tough days.’’
On the offensive front, it was a good game for the Caps with five players collecting two or more points.
Matt Grant and Steen Cooper led the way with two goals and one assist each.
Recent changes gave the Caps’ forward line a new look, with the addition of Teal Burns, Travis Stephens and Kerry Park Islanders’ affiliate Kyle Horsman, who was the Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game.
Burns contributed two assists and “I think he’s going to be a good fit for us and put some points on the board,’’ said Ingram.
Former Western Hockey League player Ryan Hanes continued his torrid pace with a goal and an assist.
The Bulldogs and Caps meet yet again Friday at Cowichan Arena.
“I’d like a little bit less drama to it, to be honest with you,’’ said Ingram.
Saturday night, former Caps’ coach Scott Robinson brought his Salmon Arm SilverBacks to town. Robinson and Ingram go way back and still keep in contact.
Ingram formerly served as an assistant to Robinson with the Caps.
“I’m glad he got back in the league,’’ said Ingram.
After leaving the Caps, Robinson went to the Dawson Creek Rage of the North American Hockey League. The franchise lasted just two seasons before folding.