Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
SEPTEMBER 7, 2019 10:04 PM
COWICHAN VALLEY 8
DUNCAN — A young group of Victoria Grizzlies got a rude awakening to the B.C. Hockey League on Saturday night.
With nine players playing their first ever games in the BCHL, the Grizzlies had trouble dealing with the intensity and speed brought by the Cowichan Valley Capitals in the Caps’ home opener at the Island Savings Centre and the home team cruised to an 8-2 victory. The Capitals, having beaten the Clippers in Nanaimo the night before, remain perfect in the first weekend of regular season action.
The Capitals came out fast and furious in the opening period knowing Grizzlies netminder Joe Howe was one the rookies getting their first taste of junior hockey. And when Dan McIntyre scored back to back goals — his first two of four on the night — less than a minute apart midway through the opening frame, the 973 hometown fans came to life and the Grizzlies were fighting an uphill battle.
“We obviously didn’t match their intensity at the start and you could tell they had one game under their belt already but I thought we got better each period so we’ll learn from this and move on,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon.
The Capitals led 3-0 after one period and Brady Lynn’s goal just 54 seconds into the second period all but iced it for the home team.
“We got a little unlucky with some bad bounces and deflections in that second period,” said Didmon.
“But credit Cowichan. They’re a good club and now we’ll get ready for the next one because it is only one game and it’s a long season.”
Cody Monds, the 18-year-old speedster who has an NCAA scholarship to Providence for the fall of 2021, struck on the power play for the Grizzlies early in the third. Eddy Yan had the other Grizzlies goal late in the third, while blue-liner Brady MacDonald assisted on both goals.
Besides McIntyre’s four, Lynn, Luc Wilson and Olivier Gauthier with two, had the other Cowichan goals.
Howe made several big saves early to prevent a total onslaught and finished with 35 saves. Zach Borgiel made 32 saves to pick up the win.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Grizzlies, who play their first seven games away from The Q Centre due to the Mann Cup championship. Victoria now heads out on a long road trip that will take them to Prince George on Friday, Merritt on Saturday and West Kelowna on Sunday.
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