The Cowichan Valley Capitals have had the luxury of playing their first four regular season games at home this year and by and large, they’ve made the most of having the hometown crowd behind them.
While road trips early in the year often help the players gel as a team, playing at home comes with its own set of benefits and the Caps have taken full advantage of the comfort of home ice.
Head coach Brian Passmore said he’s pleased with his team’s early season efforts.
“We have a lot of promise,” Passmore said. “We didn’t know what to expect out of the road teams coming in but we faced Alberni twice and beat them by the same score both nights. The kids are excited to be playing at home.”
The Caps have three wins and one loss in their first four games having fallen 2-1 to West Kelowna in their home opener on Sept. 23 but then rallying to beat the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 3-1 twice in a row on Sept. 24 and Sept. 30, followed by a 4-3 victory over Langley on Oct. 1.
The team has been backstopped by BCHL first star of the week McCoy Bidewell, whose .957 save percentage and 2.02 goals against average over three games puts him amongst the league’s best.
“Our goaltending has been phenomenal,” Passmore noted.
Forward Luke Strickland leads team scoring with six goals in four games played with defender Aaron Brown also with six points with a goal and five assists.
“I would think he’s the top goal-scorer in the league. I think he’s going to be a guy who always finds the back of the net,” Passmore said. “He just loves to score.”
While the coach expects Strickland to continue scoring, he also expects that the other forwards will join him in the goal parade eventually.
“We do have a younger team on the forward group side and they’re only going to get better over time,” he said.
Up next for the Capitals is some time away from The Stick, as their next five games are on the road starting Oct. 7 in Nanaimo against the Clippers.
“I’m happy with the hockey right now and were excited to be playing and building as a team right now,” he said.