The Cowichan Valley Capitals came into town on the heels of an 11-1 defeat against the Wenatchee Wild hoping to change their fortunes, but the Centennials got to the Capitals early and often as they ended up getting their biggest offensive output of the season 7-1.
Along with being a battle between two teams that were on the bottom of their respective divisions, it was a battle between brothers as Matthieu Gosselin of the Centennials was facing off against his older brother Raphael Gosselin of the Capitals. It was Raphael who went to the box at 1:42 of the first period, and the Centennials were able to get on the board on the powerplay for their second time of the season, and first time of the game. Henry Cleghorn got the party at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena started after Colten Gerlib held at the left side line, rung it around the back of the net to Zach Zorn who played it out front to Cleghorn who put it past Yann Derry of the Capitals for the first goal on the night.
2 minutes later the Centennials got on the board again, this time it was Jack Vincent who got a pass from Nick Wicks down low on the right side of net, he made a spin move with a backhand on net, it ended up deflecting in front and getting past Derry for the second on the night.
At the 7:03 mark, Joey Berkopec went to the box for interference, on a play 200 feet from his own net, and the Capitals were able to cut the lead to one on the powerplay.
From that point on it was all Cents on the scoreboard. Nick Wicks got a goal on the second powerplay opportunity for the Cents at the 8:23 mark after a scramble in front of Derry. Nick Wicks got two kicks at the goal, the first was stopped, te second rippled the twine past Derry, and the score was 3-1 after 20 minutes of play.
The second period started where the Cents left off offensively with Alex Bourhas pushing the puck past the line after a point shot from Tyrell Buckley caused all kinds of havoc in front, it bounced around the slot with Cleghorn and Zorn getting in on the assists. Alex Bourhas scored his first in the BCHL and first of the season, with his dad watching on from the stands, after making the trip across the country from Montreal.
Zach Zorn added a second goal in the second period shorthanded after Henry Cleghorn got out of the box when the Cents were down 2 men. Cleghorn skated on to the puck and took it to the left side corner and drew 4 Capitals to him before feeding a wide open Zach Zorn in front who made no mistake.
The third period was quiet until the 13:50 mark when the Capitals were in a midst of a parade to the penalty box, Matthieu Gosselin unloaded a cannon of a slapshot going top corner over the glove of Derry for his first in the BCHL. He wasn't the last Cents to get the monkey off his back as Ashton Stockie got the final goal of the night at the 16:12 mark, and was probably the best Centennial on the team who hadn't found the scoresheet yet in the game.
It was a full team effort, and the offense is finally firing on all cylinders with chemistry starting to develop throughout the lineup.
Coach Joe Martin credits the preparation, and early start with the win.
"I think we were prepared, and ready to play tonight and had a good start to the hockey game."
They'll need a good start and a strong finish to get past the Mainland Division leading Prince George Spruce Kings Sunday afternoon at 2pm on Q101.