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Cariboo Cats earn comeback point; Northern Capitals split in Chemainus

Kin Centre hosting B.C. Elite Hockey League U-18 games this weekend
Cariboo Cougars logo

It was a hard-fought point, and the Cariboo Cougars will take it.

In BC Elite Hockey League action on Sunday in Abbotsford, the U18 Cougars battled the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds to a 2-2 overtime tie. Cariboo defenceman Zachary Leslie sent the game to extra time when he scored with 1:40 left in the third period. Lincoln Edwards had given the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead when he struck shorthanded in the first two minutes of the third.

The teams played a scoreless second period.

Part way through the first, Caleb Poitras gave the Cats a 1-0 lead when he scored on a power play. Matteo Speranza answered back for the Thunderbirds.

Damien Knackstedt (Cougars) and Trevor Agnew (Thunderbirds) were the goaltenders.

The Cougars and Thunderbirds also met on Saturday. In that one, the T-birds were deadly on special teams and skated to a 4-0 victory. Riley Joslin and Isaiah Peters scored power-play goals, while Gavin Giesbrecht connected for a shorthanded marker. Speranza also scored for Fraser Valley.

Nicholas Cristiano earned the shutout while Tysen Smith took the loss.

On the season, the Cougars now stand at 4-5-1-0 and are in seventh place in the 10-team division. The Thunderbirds are sixth at 4-3-2-1.

The Cougars will be back at Kin 1 on Saturday at 4:30 and Sunday at 10:30 for games against the ninth-place Okanagan Rockets (3-5-1-1).

*****

The Northern Capitals looked like they were on their way to a sweep of the Vancouver Island Seals.

After a 5-1 win on Saturday in Duncan, the Capitals were up 2-0 at the end of Sunday’s first period in Chemainus. But, the Seals took over in the final 40 minutes and left the ice with a 4-2 victory.

Brooklyn Hutchings, on a power play, and Keagan Goulet scored the first-period goals for the Capitals. Tahlia Fisher and Morgan Jackson responded in the second for the Seals, and then Fisher connected again for the Seals six minutes into the third. Emily McKinnon gave her team an insurance goal a couple minutes later.

Bronwynn Lee was the winning goaltender and Sierra Eagles took the loss.

In Saturday’s victory, Ella Boon and Hailey Armstrong were dominant for the Capitals. Boon scored twice in the opening 20 minutes and then Armstrong netted a hat trick over the final two periods. Hutchings, meanwhile, contributed offensively with three assists.

Malika McDonald scored the lone goal for the Seals.

In the nets, Karsyn Niven picked up the win for the Capitals and Lee was on the losing end.

In the BC Elite Hockey League’s U18 female division, the Capitals are third of five teams with a record of 5-4-0-1 and the Seals are fourth at 3-5-0-0.

Next up, the Capitals will take on the Thompson-Okanagan Lakers on Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (8 a.m.) at Kin 2.

The second-place Lakers have gone 6-4-0-0 so far this season.

*****

The Cariboo Cougars put a scare into the Okanagan Rockets on Sunday in Kelowna but fell short of an overtime victory.

In the U15 division of the BC Elite Hockey League, the Cougars were down 3-1 when the puck dropped for the third period. Goals by Lucas Woodbeck (power play) and Hunter Henry (with 2:41 to play) drew them even before the buzzer but then Ryder Rougeau scored an OT winner for the Rockets.

Cariboo defenceman Shea Baker opened the scoring on a first-period power play. His goal came at the 14:59 mark but the lead was short-lived. A couple minutes later, Emry Stewart and Conrad Hall scored goals just six seconds apart and the Rockets were up 2-1.

Kelsen Podworny added to the Okanagan lead late in the second period, which set up the Cougars’ comeback in the third.

Calder Barry got the win between the pipes and Kaleb Miller took the loss.

The Cougars also played the Rockets tough on Saturday but fell 4-2. Baker pulled the Cats into a 3-2 deficit with just over six minutes to play but Podworny iced the game with 13 seconds to go.

The Rockets led 2-0 after the first period (goals by Tanner Sunderman and Jaxon Wylie) and the teams played a scoreless second. Clayton Gillmore added to the Okanagan advantage six minutes into the third period. Josh Gendron finally got the Cougars on the board and then Baker’s goal just moments later made things interesting down the stretch.

Elijah Henson (Rockets) and Ryder Green (Cougars) were the goaltenders.

The Cougars, at 2-4-0-2, are seventh in the 10-team division. The Rockets have a 5-3-0-0 record, good for fourth place.

The Cats will be home to the South Island Royals on Saturday and Sunday. Opening faceoffs are 1:15 p.m. and 7:15 a.m. at Kin 1.

The Royals (1-7-0-0) are currently in last place.