Tonight – Cowichan Valley Capitals (1-5-1-1) at Powell River Kings (5-2-0-0)
7 p.m. at Hap Parker Arena in Powell River
Presented by the BCIHL
This is the first meeting of the season between these Island Division rivals. Last year, the teams met eight times, with the Kings winning four of those matchups and one ending in a tie.
Kings forwards Ryan Brushett and Neal Samanski are both on six-game point streaks. Brushett has four goals and seven assists over that stretch while Samanski has two goals and seven assists. Brushett and team captain Ben Berard lead Powell River in scoring with 11 points and are tied for ninth in the BCHL. In the crease, Mitch Adamyk has played the majority of games for the Kings this year, posting a 5-2-0 record.
Capitals goalie Jack Grant has a save percentage of .919, good enough for eighth in the league. Team captain Vincent Millette leads Cowichan Valley in scoring with five points in eight games.
From the Broadcast Booth
Cowichan Valley Capitals play-by-play broadcaster Justis Doucet on how this year’s team compares to last year:
“This team is better in quite a few different ways. I think depth is one of them. There’s three or four guys that head coach Mike Vandekamp can send out to win an important draw,, whether it’s in the offensive or defensive zone. Defensively, David Melaragni and Dimitri Mikrogiannakis play close to thirty minutes a game every single night and in all situations. Cowichan is starting to be recognized as a hard-working, physical team that doesn’t give up much for free.”
Doucet on Caps starting goalie Jack Grant:
“He has been tremendous this season. The 25 goals through eight games the Caps have given up is largely due to him. Until their most recent game against Chilliwack, Grant had played all but 10 minutes in Cowichan’s first seven games. Grant’s game is very quiet and positionally sound. He doesn’t get caught out of position very often, he does a terrific job of seeing and locating pucks through traffic and he rarely gives up rebounds.”
Doucet on tonight’s matchup with Powell River:
“It’s always difficult to play in Powell River. Maybe it’s the fans, maybe it’s the weird ferry schedule. Powell River seems to always be engaged at Hap Parker Arena and Ben Berard always seems to show well against his hometown team, so Cowichan has to prepare for that. I see this one as being a physical, low-scoring game between two teams that work really hard.”
Powell River Kings play-by-play broadcaster Alex Rawnsley on team captain Ben Berard:
“Anytime you return a leading scorer from a previous season it’s a huge boost to a team. The Kings have been fortunate enough to do that over the last few seasons, which speaks volumes to the depth Powell River has had over recent years. For Berard specifically, he’s a leader who is a great example to other players of how you go about your business in the BCHL.”
Rawnsley on the team’s strong defensive play so far this year:
“I think it comes back to communication. From day one, head coach Tyler Kuntz has been preaching the importance of communication between the skaters, the goalie and the bench. I think that approach is key to limiting chances and, as a result, goals.”
Rawnsley on tonight’s matchup with Cowichan Valley:
“I think you’ve seen Caps head coach Mike Vandekamp be very aggressive in the offseason with his recruitment and player acquisitions and ultimately implementing his game plan and methods on a new team. The challenge for Cowichan, much like Powell River, is adapting to those changes in the offseason and whoever does that better on Wednesday night will likely come away with two points.”
ABOUT THE BCIHL
The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League was created with the purpose of offering a venue for competitive, high-calibre hockey that’s close to home for players beyond their junior careers. The league was launched in 2006 and now includes five member teams: Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University, the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University. This season, 25 graduates with over 2750 games of BCHL experience are pursuing their academic and athletic goals in the BCIHL. To learn more about the BCIHL and playing opportunities for BCHL grads, visit BCIHL.ca.