Examining Cowichan Valley’s 2007 playoff run

In a past article, I wrote about the recent history of the Cowichan Valley Capitals because the past several seasons were pretty eventful for the team.

Related: The recent history of the Cowichan Valley Capitals

In their history, the Capitals have had two deep playoff runs. In 1994, they advanced all the way to the Fred Page Cup final series, and in 2007, they made it to the Coastal Conference final and were defeated by the Nanaimo Clippers in six games.

For this article, I’ll examine that deep playoff run in 2007 and look at several players who were on that 2006-07 Capitals’ roster.

(Cowichan Valley Capitals website, accessed Sept. 17, 2023, Internet Wayback Machine)

On the ice and behind the bench

For the Capitals, their top goalie that season was 20-year-old Riley Whitlock. During the regular season, Whitlock played 42 games and finished with a record of 25-13-0.

Cowichan Valley’s top-scoring forwards were 19-year-olds Clinton Pettapiece and Winston Day Chief along with 20-year-olds Luke Cain and Craig Parkinson. These four players combined for an eye-popping 331 points of offensive scoring.

The Caps’ top scorer was Pettapiece, who had 27 goals and 66 assists during the regular season. Behind him was Cain with 40 goals and 45 assists in 59 games.

Cowichan Valley’s roster was stacked and included future BCHL Coastal Conference Best Defenseman Zach Currie. Behind the bench was Head Coach Scott Robinson, who earned the Joe Tennant Memorial Trophy for the Coastal Conference as coach of the year. He won the same award three years earlier.

From the regular season to the playoffs

At the end of the regular season, the Capitals finished third in the Coastal Conference behind the Victoria Grizzlies and Nanaimo Clippers.

In the first round, Cowichan Valley met the Powell River Kings and won the series in six games, with the deciding game claimed in overtime. The Capitals’ next opponent was their Malahat rivals from Victoria. Like the previous series, the Capitals defeated the Grizzlies in six games. Cowichan Valley took the series-clinching game in overtime, thanks to Cain’s winner. In the series, half of the games need extra time, including game two, which went to double OT.

The Capitals’ third-round opponent was the Nanaimo Clippers and this time, they fell in six games. As for Nanaimo, it moved on to the Fred Page Cup final and the Clippers won the championship by defeating the Vernon Vipers in six games.

The aftermath

After their deep playoff run, the Capitals didn’t make the post-season in 2008, finishing with a record of 27-28-2-3. As for the players, several stayed while a number of them moved on.

Currie played with the Capitals until 2009 before attending Quinnipiac University for four NCAA seasons. He briefly played in the ECHL with South Carolina and Evansville.

For Day Chief, he went to school at the University of Alaska-Anchorage and the University of Lethbridge. His pro career took him to the Central Hockey League and the ECHL. He currently plays senior hockey for the Lethbridge Lighting of the Ranchland Hockey League.

Like Day Chief, Parkinson left the Capitals to attend school in Anchorage, Alaska. He played four seasons for the Seawolves men’s team.

After leaving the Capitals, Cain split his college hockey between Union College and the University of Manitoba. According to Elite Prospects, he last played for the Carman Beavers of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League.

Pettapiece, who was the Capitals’ top scorer in 2007, was shipped to the Westside Warriors at the trade deadline in January 2008. After his junior career, Pettapiece split time between Wilfred Laurier University and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Pettapiece last played senior hockey with the Okotoks Drillers of the Chinook Hockey League.

After the 2007 playoffs, Whitlock went on to the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University. As for the head coach, Robinson stayed on until the 2009-10 season before being replaced mid-season.

Afterward, Robinson moved on to the North American Hockey League. From 2010 to 2012, Robinson was the General Manager and Head Coach of the expansion Dawson Creek Rage. Two games into the 2012-13 season, Robinson was brought in as Head Coach of the Silverbacks after Salmon Arm General Manager and Head Coach Troy Mick stepped down as coach.

The Silverbacks were sold after the season and the new ownership group decided to not renew Robinson’s contract.