Challenges presented to the Cowichan Valley Midget Tier 1 Capitals’ rep hockey team were met and surpassed in weekend games.
Despite playing shorthanded on the back end October 29 against Nanaimo, the Caps still gutted out a 3-3 tie.
“Only having four defencemen was a difficult task to ask of the four D-men that were dressed but they managed to play a great game even with the low numbers,’’ noted Caps’ coach Ryan Trudgeon.
At the other end, the bounces didn’t go the Caps’ way.
“We had lots of missed opportunities throughout the game that could have really opened up a big lead for us,’’ Trudgeon pointed out.
“A couple of posts, crossbars and even a possible controversial breakway goal could have been the difference.’’
Cowichan played hard and consistent during the game, with only a few undisciplined penalties.
Landen Bodger opened the scoring, but Nanaimo answered back for a 2-1 first-period lead.
Chris Carpentier’s one-timer from the point on a power play made it 2-2, but Nanaimo took the lead again going into the third.
Cowichan tied the game for the final time when Carpentier stepped out of the penalty box and received a great stretch pass from Kyle Green for a breakaway goal.
“It was good to see how the boys play under a little adversity,’’ Trudgeon noted.
The game the Caps have been waiting for was played Sunday at Fuller Lake Arena against Port Alberni, considered the top contender to come off the island.
“This was a classic game of who is going to work harder and who is going to fade first,’’ Trudgeon indicated.
It was the Caps’ night to shine with a 60-minute effort leading to a 4-0 victory, with great shutout goaltending from Jesse Jenks.
Jenks kept the Alberni offense off the scoresheet in a scoreless first period that allowed Cowichan to stay in the game.
The goaltending spurred the team on and Brendan Gowanlock struck first in the second period with a shot from the slot that handcuffed the Alberni goalie.
Jenks continued to turn away everything and the Caps potted three more goals in the third period.
Timmy Anderson and Riley Malvena each scored and Nick Marshall sealed the deal with an empty-netter.
“This game was played by the boys perfectly,’’ offered Trudgeon. “Defensive zone coverage was flawless, power play got us a pair, penalty kill was perfect, five-on-five we outworked them, no stupid penalties, everybody showed up to play and absolutely great goaltending by Jenks.
“This was the type of game that wins championships for teams. The boys felt great after this one, as they should have.’’
The team’s next game is at 4 p.m. Sunday at Fuller Lake against Comox.