Capitals, Kings Series Shifts to Duncan for Game 3

The Capitals will look to close the gap in the first round series with the Powell River Kings on Tuesday night, when the two teams play Game 3 at the Island Savings Centre.

Powell River took Game 1 on Friday night by a 4-2 score at the Hap Parker Arena, powered by 38 shots on goal and a hat trick from Jonny Evans, their regular season leading scorer. Carter Turnbull had the other Kings goal, while Max Newton and Michael Montambault both buried for the Capitals. There were 12 players making their BCHL playoff debut for the Caps in Game 1.

The Kings followed that with a 4-3 win in Game 2 on Saturday night. Goals from Curtis McCarrick, Ben Berard and Callum Volpe had the home team out to a 3-0 lead by 5:33 of the second. The Caps responded with two goals of their own in the middle frame from Ben Verrall and Ayden MacDonald, both coming on the powerplay. Tristan Mullin stretched the Kings lead to 4-2 with an early third period goal, and that would be the eventual game winner. George Sennott also scored for the Capitals in the second half of the third period.

After Powell River led 38-15 in shots in Game 1, Cowichan led 32-31 in Game 2. The Kings led 6-1 in shots to start to second period, and at that point led 18-12 in shots in the game. After that, the Caps led 9-2 in shots to conclude the middle frame, and in total the rest of the way they led 20-11 in the shots department. The Capitals also were 2-5 on the powerplay in Game 2, after scoring one goal on the man-advantage in their previous six games.

Now the series shifts to Duncan for Game 3 and 4, on Tuesday and Wednesday night, and would as well for a potential Game 5 on Thursday night.

Puck drop on Game 3 at the Island Savings Centre is at 7:00 pm.

Who’s Hot:

Capitals: Ayden MacDonald has points in nine straight games and 11 of his past 12… John Sladic and Michael Montambault each have points in four straight games… Ben Verrall has points in back-to-back games… Mitch Skapski has points in five of his past six, while Max Newton has points in three of his past four…

Kings: Jonny Evans has points in back-to-back games and, between both teams, leads all players with four points in this series… Carter Turnbull has points in four straight games and in 10 of his past 11… Cam Donaldson and Tristan Mullin each have points in three straight… Kyle Betts and Ben Berard each have points in six of their past seven games… Carmine Buono has points in three of his past four…

To Cap Things Off: All of Max Newton, Michael Montambault, Ben Verrall and George Sennott scored the first playoff goal of their respective BCHL careers over the weekend in Powell River… Ayden MacDonald has 14 career playoff points, the most among all current Caps; his 13 career playoff games are second only to Chris Harpur (14 games)… The Capitals have won three of their past four at home, and in that time have allowed only eight goals-against… They’ve also allowed only one powerplay-goal-against in their past four home games (11-12, 91.6%)…

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Capitals, Kings Begin First Round Series Friday Night

For the second consecutive season, the Cowichan Valley Capitals and Powell River Kings will meet in the first round of the BCHL playoffs. This year’s edition begins on Friday, Mar 3 at the Hap Parker Arena in Powell River.

Game 2 will be on Saturday night in Powell River, and the series shifts to the Island Savings Centre for game 3 and 4 on Mar 7 and 8. Game 5 would be on Mar 9, also in Duncan, and games 6 and 7 would be in Powell River on Mar 11 and 12.

The Capitals finished the regular season with a 25-28-3-2 record (3rd Island, 12th League), while the Kings had a 37-19-1-1 record (2nd Island, 5th League). The Caps won five of eight meetings between these teams in the regular season; all eight games were decided in regulation, and while most were closely-played games, seven of them were decided by two goals or more.

In 2015-16, the Capitals and Kings split the season series 4-4-0-0, with each team winning all four home games and the Kings leading 29-23 in goals scored. The Kings led in goals 28-26 in this year’s season series.

These teams last met on Feb 26 at the Island Savings Centre on the final day of the BCHL regular season, with the Capitals earning a 3-1 win over the Kings in front of 840 fans in Duncan. The Kings rested six regular players, including their top five scorers (Jonny Evans, Tristan Mullin, Cam Donaldson, Carter Turnbull, Kyle Betts), and a 19-year-old defenseman (Carmine Buono), and dressed five affiliate players. On the other end of the spectrum, the Caps played with only 10 forwards and five defenseman, as they were missing all of Jared Domin, Haydn Hopkins, Nii Noi Tetteh, Justin Perron and Simon Chen due to injury or illness.

That game, Max Newton opened the scoring for the Capitals at 5:28 of the first with a nifty deke around the Kings netminder. Newton’s goal was his team-leading 25th, as he became the first Capitals player to score 25 goals or more since 2011-12. George Sennott scored nearly 10 minutes later, at 14:53 of the first, to double the Caps’ lead; Sennott’s goal was his first since Dec 17.

After a scoreless second period, Rhett Kingston scored shorthanded 35 seconds into the third to extend the Caps’ lead to three. Kingston’s goal was his 16th of the year; of those goals, he’s scored five against Powell River. The Kings would get on the scoreboard with 3:15 to go in regulation, making it a 3-1 score and ending a shutout bid for Capitals’ goalie Adam Marcoux (rest assured, I never mentioned a “shutout” on air!). The Kings pushed late with a 6-on-4 chance, with their net empty and a late powerplay, but the 3-1 score would stand to give Cowichan a second straight win to end the regular season.

Both teams had strong efforts in the crease on the afternoon; Marcoux earned his ninth win with 32 saves, while Kings goalie Mitch Adamyk stopped 35 of 38 shots. Both teams were perfect on the PK: the Kings were 5-5 while the Caps were 6-6. Of the Capitals’ penalty kills, they killed off two long 5-on-3’s, one that was 1:51 and another that was a full 2:00, and they also registered a shorthanded goal.

Heading into action on Friday night, Cowichan has won four of it’s past six games, while Powell River is 16-3-0-1 since Dec 30. These team’s past five games are nearly identical: the Caps are 3-2-0-0 in that span, while the Kings are 3-1-0-1.

Regular Season Series:

09/10/16: vs. Powell River 2, Cowichan 4

10/09/16: vs. Powell River 2, Cowichan 5

10/28/16: vs. Powell River 9, Cowichan 0

11/25/16: at Powell River 4, Cowichan 6

11/26/16: at Powell River 3, Cowichan 2

02/03/17: at Powell River 4, Cowichan 1

02/04/17: at Powell River 3, Cowichan 5

02/26/17: vs. Powell River 1, Cowichan 3

Who’s Hot:

Capitals: Ayden MacDonald has points in seven straight games and nine of his past 10, Mitch Skapski has points in eight of his past nine, and Max Newton has points in eight of 10; that line combined for 33 points in 10 games in February… Lane Michasiw has stopped 94 of 98 shots in his past three outings (.959 sv%) and Adam Marcoux has stopped 103/111 in his past three (.928 sv%)…

Kings: Josh Coblenz has seven points in his past six games… Carter Turnbull has points in eight of his past nine (goals in six of nine)… Tristan Mullin has points in five of six, Cam Donaldson has points in six of seven; the 20-year-old Mullin finished seventh in BCHL regular season scoring with 70 points (tied for fourth in goals, 36), the 18-year-old Donaldson was named the BCHL’s Rookie of the Year on Thursday… Goalie Mitch Adamyk has stopped 65 of 69 shots in his past two games (.942 sv%)…

Capping Things Off: With a win on Sunday, the Capitals end the regular season: 12-1-2-1 when leading after 1, 16-0-2-0 when leading after 2, and 18-5-1-2 when scoring first… They were 10-4-0-1 when tied after 1, 5-3-1-1 when tied after 2… Combined attendance in the Capitals’ 28 games at the Island Savings Centre was 20,373 (average 728 per game)… Of the Caps’ 168 goals-for, they scored 45 in the 1st, 55 in the 2nd, 64 in the third and four in overtime… The Caps were 13-15-2-2 against the Island Division this season, compared to 13-16-2-1 in 2015-16…

Capping Things Off, Pt. II: Max Newton had the most 1st period goals (8), Mitch Skapski had the most 2nd period goals (10), and Ayden MacDonald had the most 3rd period goals (12)… No Caps player had more goals in the second half than Newton (13)… Newton and MacDonald led all Caps players in goals at home (14); Jared Domin led the team in road goals (12)…  Mi. Skapski had the most three-point games of all Caps players (5); Newton (2) was the only other Capital with more than one… Eight current Capitals players have playoff experience, but only MacDonald (11 games) and Chris Harpur (12 games) have played more than six games… MacDonald leads all current Caps with four goals and 11 points in his playoff career; Harpur is second with five points… The Capitals this season clinched a playoff spot for the second straight year, the first time that’s happened since 2008-09 and 2009-10… Cowichan’s last playoff series win was in March, 2009 (3-0 sweep in first round vs. Nanaimo)…