Adam Marcoux makes a stop during a home game against Trail in November. The Caps traded Marcoux to Trail earlier this week. His replacement, J.J. Pichette, got honourable mention for player of the week last week. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen file)

Sad sack Capitals showing signs of life

KEVIN ROTHBAUER

Cowichan Valley Citizen

After collecting just two wins in the first half of the B.C. Hockey League season, the Cowichan Valley Capitals have won three in a row to start the second half.

The Caps beat the Victoria Grizzlies 5-3 last Wednesday and Powell River 4-2 on Saturday to improve to 3-0 in December, with all three of those wins coming at home. While success has been a long time coming, Cowichan head coach Brian Passmore felt it was just around the corner.

“I think it’s what we were saying all November,” he said. “All we need is one win to get that feeling and sense of belief. Once we get that winning feeling, it’s the same as losing; it’s contagious.”

As part of that success, Cowichan goalie J.J. Pichette, who all but stumbled into the starting job after he was signed from the junior B Kerry Park Islanders last month, earned an honourable mention when the BCHL announced its Player of the Week on Monday. Going 2-0 with two First Star awards, Pichette stopped 75 of the 80 shots he faced last week.

“We’re getting really good goaltending from Pichette,” Passmore observed. “He has really stepped up and helped cause over the last few games.”

The Caps are also getting scoring from all their lines — not just Troy MacTavish and Ty Pochipinski, who have been productive all season. Azzaro Tinling, Hugh Larkin and Nicholas Wilson are getting involved in the offence, and the recent return of Ethan Scardina to the lineup has been a boost as well.

“Wer’re starting to score goals, to get more run support for our goalies,” Passmore said.

Not surprisingly, the Caps are more upbeat lately, Passmore acknowledged. It helps that the entire forward corps is finally healthy, and the defence has solidified even with veteran Nii Noi Tetteh still sidelined.

The Caps have been looking at the last seven games prior to the Christmas break like a best-of-seven playoff series, and they are currently 3-1, one game away from “clinching.”

The Caps will be looking for their fourth straight win, and first road victory of the season, when they visit the Victoria Grizzlies this Friday. On Saturday, they will visit the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Finally, they will host the Prince George Spruce Kings on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

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