A newly assembled top line found some chemistry and helped the Cowichan Valley Capitals earn their first win of the season at the B.C. Hockey League Showcase in Chilliwack last weekend.
Adam Jeffery scored two goals for the second game in a row, David Jacobs also had two goals, and Massimo Sarantos Lombardi collected four assists as the Caps dumped the Merritt Centennials 5-1 on Sunday afternoon.
The Showcase marked the first two games of the season for the 20-year-old Jeffery, who was injured in practice before he had a chance to play, and he clicked immediately with his new linemates.
“They did well, obviously,” Caps head coach Brian Passmore said. “They put a few points up and helped us get the win. Even on Saturday [a 5-4 loss to the Cranbrook Bucks], they played well. Maybe they’ll get hot.”
Luke Haymes added a powerplay goal against Merritt, while Ben Montgomery made 25 saves and assisted on the opening goal to earn the win in his second BCHL start. The Caps improved their record to 1-6 while the Centennials dropped to 0-6.
“We played a good game; a solid, complete game,” Passmore said. “We played hard, played smart. From the goalie out, I thought we outplayed the other team and deserved the win.”
Saturday’s game marked the first time the Caps and Bucks have ever played. The Caps got off to a slow start and trailed 2-0 after the first period, but came back and made it 3-3 by the end of the second. Back-to-back powerplay goals early in the third put the Bucks up for good, although Jeffery’s second of the afternoon made it interesting.
Sam Schofield finished with a goal and an assist, and Griffin Wilson scored Cowichan’s other goal. Goalie Evan May stopped 29 of 34 shots. Caps forward Matty Edwards was ejected and later suspended for three games for a blow to the head against a Cranbrook player late in the game.
The Caps were busy on the trade market last week, shipping defenceman Joe Harney to the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Blackfalds Bulldogs for forward Conrad Mitchell, then sending Mitchell to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s La Ronge Ice Wolves for future considerations. They also traded blueliner Klim Georgiev to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Dauphin Kings for future considerations. Those deals opened up a spot for 19-year-old defender Jack Riley, who made his BCHL debut against Merritt on Sunday.
The Caps will play two games at home this weekend, against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday at 7 p.m. and the Vernon Vipers on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Caps have lost two meetings with the Bulldogs already this season, but are looking to turn the tide. The Vipers have started the season with three wins and two losses, and will be playing their third game in three days when they visit the Cowichan Arena.