September 15, 2013, Cowichan, BC (ISN) – It was exactly the way any team hopes to kick off their home opener in front of their home town fans as the Cowichan Capitals skated to a 5-1 victory against their division foe Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
The Caps received contributions on the scoreboard from each of their four lines in the victory and Robin Gusse was again outstanding stopping 20 of 21 Bulldogs shots as Gusse was name the Fortis Energy Player of the Game.
After a prolonged introduction and ceremonial face off, the Capitals came out buzzing. At the 4:13 mark, Courtenay native Myles Powell, would beat Alberni’s starting goaltender – Blake Pearson – with a snap shot to open the scoring to make it a 1-0 Caps lead. However, it would only take 19 seconds before Hunter Stewart would be Robin Gusse to equalize the score at 1. But from there, it was all Caps. Just over five minutes later, Steen Cooper would pick up a Rylan Ball shot that went off the end wall and right to Cooper and he made no mistake going top shelf to give the Caps a lead again – and they wouldn’t look back. Fourth line centre, Sam Curleigh, scored his first BCHL goal at the 18:22 mark to make it a 3-1 Caps lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Caps also didn’t lack a physical punch in the game as there were two fights and many skirmishes during the game. The better of the two fights came in the first period when Caps forward Daniel Wanner took on ‘Dogs defenseman Brett Stewart in a spirited bout at centre ice that latest a good forty-five seconds.
In the second period, the Caps would continue their offensive pressure and build on their lead. Curleigh scored his second goal of the game at the 12:14 mark on a rebound – assists went to Rylan Bechtel and Taki Pantziris. Just under three minutes later, Mason Malkowich would score his first in a Capitals jersey to give Cowichan a 5-1 lead.
There was no scoring in the third period, but more rough stuff. With under a minute to go, ‘Dogs Justin Georgeson and Caps Mitch Ball got into a tussle that saw Ball receive two-minutes for a blow to the head, two-minutes for roughing, and two ten-minute misconducts.
Despite the late skirmishes, the Capitals would skate to an impressive 5-1 victory in their home opener at the Big Stick.
Caps out shot the Bulldogs 23-21 in the contest.
Cowichan went 1/2 on the power play, while the Bulldogs were a disappointing 0/6.
Three Stars of the Game in the building were:
1) Capitals – #18 Sam Curleigh – 2G (first two BCHL goals)
2) Capitals – #7 Steen Cooper – 1G/1A (Including GWG)
3) Capitals – #17 Kyle Horsman
The Capitals and Bulldogs will face each other again on Wednesday in their second of nine meetings this season – the game will take place in Port Alberni at the Weyerhauser Arena.
The puck drops at 7pm. Tune into 89.7 SUN FM at 6:45pm for the pre-game show.