Cowichan Capitals’ forward Massimo Sarantos Lombardi shadows Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Josh Van Unen in front of Caps’ goalie McCoy Bidewell late in the second period of their BCHL Coastal Conference quarter-final opening game, Friday, April 1, 2022 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Cowichan Capitals’ forward Massimo Sarantos Lombardi shadows Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Josh Van Unen in front of Caps’ goalie McCoy Bidewell late in the second period of their BCHL Coastal Conference quarter-final opening game, Friday, April 1, 2022 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs take 1-0 lead in Coastal Conference series vs. Cowichan

Special teams see action during close match between Vancouver Island rivals

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have taken a 1-0 lead in their BC Hockey League Coastal Conference quarter-final against Cowichan Capitals. And they won that first game on home turf.

The Bulldogs looked shaky in the first period as Cowichan took a 2–0 lead with a pair of goals from Massimo Sarantos Lombardi (including one on the power play midway through the period). Bulldogs’ Chase Klassen cut the deficit to 2-1 when he capitalized on a play by Braden Blace and Nicholas Beneteau at 16:18 of the first.

Josh Zary tied the game on the power play at 3:51 of the second period, and Brandon Buhr—also on the power play—scored the go-ahead goal with 2:08 left in the period.

The Caps brought the score to 3–3 at 4:22 of the third period but it was Stephen Castagna with a solo effort at 11:08 that gave the Bulldogs the winner. Ethan Bono scored the insurance at 17:36, giving the ‘Dogs a 5-3 victory.

Buhr ended the night with one goal and two assists, Zary had a goal and an assist, and Beneteau and Blace had two assists. Hobie Hedquist got the win in goal for the Bulldogs.

Head coach Joe Martin said in a post-game interview with Bulldogs’ play-by-play announcer Evan Hammond that he expected his team might come out flat early in the game. The Bulldogs have had a bit of a layoff since their last home game. Going into the third period with a 3–2 lead, the Bulldogs “started to lean and they had some good shifts back to back,” Martin said.

While the Bulldogs have taken a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven quarter-final, Martin cautioned that the team can’t get ahead of itself. “The series is tied 0–0 tomorrow night,” he said.

“It’s one thing at a time.”

The Bulldogs and Capitals are back at the AV Multiplex tomorrow (April 2) for Game 2. Festivities kick off with a tailgate party at 5 p.m., hosted by Five Acre Co., The Zattzoo Project-Association and Bulldogs.

ICE CHIPS…Bulldogs’ head coach Joe Martin has been nominated for BCHL Coach of the Year…Goaltender Hobie Hedquist is up for the BCHL Top Goaltender award.

BCHL, Alberni Valley Bulldogs

 

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Brandon Buhr celebrates his power play goal at 17:52 of the second period on April 1, 2022. Buhr’s goal gave the ‘Dogs a 3-2 lead over Cowichan Capitals in Game 1 of their BCHL Coastal Conference quarter-finals. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Brandon Buhr celebrates his power play goal at 17:52 of the second period on April 1, 2022. Buhr’s goal gave the ‘Dogs a 3-2 lead over Cowichan Capitals in Game 1 of their BCHL Coastal Conference quarter-finals. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)