CAPITALS 18-25-16 (8th) vs. KINGS 36-8-3-2 (1st)
LAST 5: CAPITALS-- 0-4-0-1 KINGS--3-2-0-0
SEASON SERIES: The Kings and Capitals meet for the fourth time this season and first since the Capitals 5-4 double overtime win in Duncan on November 13th. The Kings won the previous two encounters, 4-1 and 5-3. The season series wraps up in Duncan, with games on Febraury 12th and 18th.
BIG STORY: Powell River looks to continue their success at home this season against a team that hasn't won at the Hap Parker arena in the past two seasons. The Kings own the leagues best home record at 21-3-0-1 and their last home loss came two months ago against Nanaimo. The Kings are riding a nine game winning streak at home.
If the Capitals are going to win they will have to get their power-play in high gear. Cowichan is just 1 for 23 in it's last six games with the man advantage. Their last goal on the power-play came on January 14th in a 6-3 loss to Victoria. Since then they are 0-18.
Since trading leading scorer Mike Hammond at the January 10th deadline the Capitals are 1-5-0-1. Hammond scored 25 percent of the teams goals before his move to Salmon Arm. With the departure of Hammond, the offensive production for the team relies heavily on two other twenty year-old's in Jordan Grant and Tyler Matheson.
Grant leads the team in scoring with 71 points in 50 games, which so happens to be the same numbers as Hammond. Grant sits fifth in league goal scoring with 30, four behind Matt Garbowsky's league lead. The Ladysmith native is on top of his game with five goals in his last three games, including a hat-trick against Alberni Valley last Friday. The other weapon up front is Matheson but his numbers are not nearly as high as Grant's.
Matheson sits second, 33 points back of Grant in team scoring. Matheson came back to Cowichan during the season, after being one of the 20 year-old casualities of the Keolowna Rockets. After a slower start, Matheson has since found his scoring touch, collecting 38 points in 39 games.
Keeping pucks out of the net has been an issue of late for Cowichan Valley. The Capitals have been outscored 26-10 in their last five games and surrendered four or more goals in nine of their ten games this month. The 207 goals against this season is second only to Prince George who has surrendered 228. On average the Capitals give up just over four goals per game. That will need to get better if they want to leap frog Coquitlam for the 7th and final playoff spot.
Calm and order was restored in Powell River after the Kings 4-1 win over Penticton on Tuesday. The Kings came into the game losing two straight games over the weekend, which was the first time they have done that this season. The Kings, with Tuesday's victory, have won seven of ten games and 12 of their last 15.
The penalty-kill came in limping on Tuesday, but was much better allowing one goal on seven opportunities to the league's best power-play in the Vees. Coming in to that game Powell River had allowed 6 PPGA in their last four games. The punctuation mark on the turn around was Matt Garbowsky's short handed marker in the third period.
What hurt the Kings in their loss to the Capitals was inconstancy. The Kings had an early 2-0 lead in the first but let their foot off the gas, as the Capitals scored the next four goals. Yes the Kings did force overtime, but playing catch up hurt them. Tonight the Kings have to play their brand of hockey from the opening puck drop to the final buzzer. They don't want to let this contest be known as a "trap" game and be guilty of over-looking their opposition.
WHO'S HOT: Matt Garbowky's two point effort against Penticton, gives hime five points (2+3=5) in his last three games. Chad Niddery scored his first goal in four games and now has four in six. Cohen Adair's 21st goal on Tuesday gives him two in his last three games. Justin DaSilva continues to add points from the back end. DaSilva's assist in Tuesday gives him five points (1+ 4=5) in six games.
As mentioned, Jordan Grant has been red hot for the Capitals. Grant has five goals in three games and eight points in five games. Matt Cassidy is sure fitting in nicely with Cowichan. Cassidy is Mr. Playmaker, with four assists in five games.
INJURY REPORT: Craig Dalrymple is out of the lineup due to illness. Alex Halloran is out to due to injury and Keyler Bruce is serving his second game of an eight game suspension.
STATS PACK: Jordan Grant and Tyler Matheson account for 37 percent of Cowichan's goals. Outside of Nanaimo, the Kings have lost three times to other Coastal Conference teams.
PUCK DROP: It's the United Way Tail Gate Party before tonight' game. The festivities get underway at 5:30 in front of the main entrance to the rink. Buy a balloon for 10 dollars or three for 20 with all proceeds going toward the United Way.