The Vernon Vipers peppered Cowichan Capitals goalie Lane Michasiw with 26 shots over two periods, yet had nothing to show for it.
“I didn’t think we were getting into the dirty areas to generate Grade A scoring chances,” said Vipers interim head coach and general manager Kevin Krause. “A lot of our shots were from the outside without traffic going to the net.”
After changing the game plan in the third, in which they continued the on slaughter of shots, 15-4, cracks started developing in Michasiw’s armor.
First, Thomas Aldworth burned the Capitals power-play unit by using his speed to get by a defender before scoring on a shot along the ice. Then Riley Brandt capitalized on a turnover in the high slot and scored low blocker. The Vipers learned that Michasiw stayed up a lot and covered the top half of the net well. The goals were enough to give the Vipers a 2-0 win at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre in the Bauer BCHL Showcase.
“In the third we really started to click,” said Aldworth, whose winner was his first in the BCHL after coming over from the United States Hockey League. “He (Michasiw) played really well. It was hard to beat him.”
While Michasiw did his best to keep the Capitals in the game, they spent most of their time fending off the Vipers aggressive forecheck and physical game. The Capitals showed more push and pressured the Vipers late in the third as they tried to break Danny Todosychuk’s shutout. He finished with 13 saves.
“They kind of stepped it up,” added Aldworth. “They are really big and physical. They use their body well.”
What Kraus liked about his team’s effort was their compete level. He said they never gave up despite not being able to solve Michasiw for two-and-a-half periods.
“We’re still gelling, we’re still trying to get our offensive touch,” said Kraus. “There are still some D-zone things that we can work on.”
While the Capitals power-play went 0-for-4, the Vipers went scoreless on seven chances. Their final game in the Showcase is Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against the Victoria Grizzlies.