The line of Luke Haymes, Shane LaVelle and K.T. Walters combined for 11 points over two games last weekend as the Cowichan Valley Capitals collected three points in the B.C. Hockey League standings.
Haymes had a goal and three assists, LaVelle scored twice and added a helper, and Walters notched his first BCHL goal as the Caps defeated the Nanaimo Clippers 6-5 in overtime in Nanaimo on Friday night. Back at home the following night, Haymes and LaVelle set up Walters’s game-tying goal as the Caps were edged 3-2 in overtime by the Victoria Grizzlies.
The six goals on Friday marked the Caps’ highest single-game output so far this season, and the nine goals tied the team’s season best for back-to-back games. In their previous five games this month, the Caps had scored a total of five goals.
“We hadn’t been scoring a lot, so to get nine on the weekend was a positive for us,” Caps head coach Brian Passmore commented.
Friday’s game went back and forth, with the teams tied 3-3 after the second period. The Caps found themselves trailing by a pair midway through the third, but LaVelle scored his second of the night with 9:08 left in regulation, and captain Brett Fudger tied things up again with 20 seconds left to play. Defenceman James Bohn, who was acquired from the Prince George Spruce Kings at the trade deadline earlier this month, scored his first as a Capital at 1:04 of overtime.
McCoy Bidewell made 35 saves in the Cowichan net as the Caps were outshot 40-30.
The Grizzlies came into Duncan riding a four-game winning streak and opened the scoring on Saturday, but Adam Grenier and Fudger staked the Caps to a 2-1 lead before the first period was over. The Grizzlies scored again in the second and midway through the third before Walters struck late. In overtime, Victoria’s rookie sensation Matthew Wood completed his second BCHL hat trick on a powerplay, giving him 26 goals in 23 games to that point. Bidewell made 30 saves as the Caps were outshot 34-29.
Throwing a shadow over an otherwise successful weekend for Cowichan was the fact that the Coquitlam Express, who the Caps are chasing for eighth place in the Coastal Conference, picked up two wins on the weekend and are now one point ahead of the Caps with five games in hand.
The Caps will have a chance to help themselves in the playoff hunt when they visit Coquitlam this Sunday, but first they have back-to-back games in Langley against the conference leading Rivermen on Friday and Saturday. The Rivermen beat the Caps 6-2 at the Cowichan Arena last time the teams met.
While the Caps are not looking past the Rivermen, they know that for them, the road to the postseason leads through Coquitlam, and possibly Powell River. Including their game this Sunday, the Caps have four games left against the Express and five against the seventh-place Kings.
“These games against Coquitlam are big,” Passmore said. “We want to keep getting points and worry about ourselves.”