John Hawthorne showed on Wednesday why he was recently offered an NCAA scholarship by Northern Michigan University, stopping all 43 shots he faced as the Bulldogs picked up an important 4-0 victory in Cowichan Valley.
The Alberni Valley netminder kept his team in the game early on as the Capitals had a 19-5 advantage in shots on goal during the first period. But it was the Bulldogs who opened the scoring when Marcus Walter took an Evan Googins feed in the high slot off the rush and wired a shot past Pierce Diamond.
Hawthorne’s finest save came in the second period when he leapt across his crease and got his stick on a Brady Lynn shot to rob the Cowichan forward of a goal into the empty net.
Alberni found the insurance goal they needed early in the third when Dawson Tritt made a great pass through multiple Caps defenders to set up Michael Hodge at the far post for the 2-0 marker. Keaton Mastrodonato scored on a power-play to make it a three-goal lead and Grayson Valente added one late after Cowichan forward Adam conquest had been ejected for a dirty hit on a Bulldogs player.
With the win, Alberni takes a four point lead on the Capitals for fourth place in the Island Division, while also holding a game in hand.
The Bulldogs are back in action on home ice Saturday when they host the Penticton Vees.