The Cowichan Valley Capitals wrapped up their season on the road over the weekend with stops in Coquitlam on Friday, Chilliwack on Saturday, and Surrey on Sunday.
The Caps ran into a hot goalie and a bit of minor penalty trouble, leading to them scoring just once in a 6-1 loss to the Coquitlam Express on Friday night despite 32 shots on goal over the course of the game.
It was Kai Dunits who hit the back of the net for his eighth of the season from Luke Santilli and Matthew Biros. The goal game at 11:36 of the second period and it’s all Cowichan could muster on the night.
On Saturday evening in Chilliwack, it was Luke Lavery’s 19th of the season against the Chiefs that proved to be Cowichan’s only goal of the night in a 4-1 loss. Assists went to Dunits and Adam Leitch.
In their final game of the season, Sunday afternoon, Cowichan pushed hard for four goals, firing 41 shots at the Surrey Eagles goalie.
Down 1-0, Cole Melady potted his 14th of the year from Dryden Kuramoto to tie it up before Quinn Disher pushed the Caps ahead just a couple of minutes later with his 10th from Lavery.
With the score 2-1, Dunits scored from Adam Bourdeois and Disher to add to Cowichan’s lead. Surrey got one back before the end of the first but the teams went into the dressing rooms with Cowichan leading 3-2 at the first intermission.
Surrey scored early in the second on a powerplay but Ethan O’Halloran answered back for the Caps two minutes later with his second of the year, unassisted. That was all the scoring in the period and Cowichan entered the second intermission with a one-goal lead. Surrey would not be beaten, however, scoring the tying goal at 6:20 of the third period before pushing ahead at 8:02.
The Eagles went on to add a powerplay before the 11-minute mark and followed it up with an empty netter in the final minutes to put the game out of reach for the Caps.
Cowichan joins the Interior Division Merritt Centennials in missing the playoffs this year, but brighter days are ahead for the Capitals. The young team had more than a dozen rookies that, next season, will have a year of BCHL hockey under their belts. A number of signings and affiliate players are also expected to suit up for a bolstered Caps lineup for the 20023/24 campaign.
“Although we had a disappointing result in the standings we have come a long ways in preparation for next season,” said head coach Mike Vandekamp. “We have a bright future here now and look forward to being a competitive team next season.”