The Campbell River No. 1 Autobody Bantam A Tyees looked to rebound after a disappointing weekend Dec. 8-9.
Saturday (Dec 15) had the Tyees hosting Cowichan Valley (CV) in a Division 1 regular season game. Captain Josh Coblenz returned to the lineup after sitting out due to dental surgery.
The game started with good pace but the Tyees were sent to the sin bin early. The Capitals made them pay for that transgression as they scored a power-play goal about three minutes into the game. Thirty seconds later, the Capitals scored again with a perfect pass to the side of the net as the shooter raised the puck just above the out-stretched glove of goalie Kyle Franceschini. The Tyees intensity was on display as Coblenz, working tirelessly in the offensive zone, got the puck and fed it to Sage Lim. Lim made no mistake as he buried it to open the scoring for the Tyees. Both teams worked hard as each put pressure on the opposing goalie. Just before the flood, Lukas Lund had a fantastic back-check to break up a scoring opportunity for the Capitals to keep the score 2-1 in favour of CV.
The clean ice was helpful to both teams but a bit of water stopped the puck in an awkward position a couple of times. The Tyees hard work resulted in a power-play advantage. Tyler Dickson got the puck to Coblenz who fed a cross-ice pass to Brendan Hoff at the point. Hoff’s howitzer was in and out of the net so quickly that it caught players and officials off-guard but it went up on the board. The second period ended with deuces wild as the teams were tied 2-2.
The third period began with spirited play at both ends. The Tyees went back on the power-play and showed why practicing odd-man situations are critical to success. Quick and sure puck movement from Lim to Coblenz resulted in Hoff launching a rocket on net that the Capital goalie couldn’t hold onto. Dickson pounced on the rebound and put the biscuit in the basket to give the Tyees the lead. The Capitals were fired up and kept coming hard. They won the loose puck off of the boards in the Tyee zone and made a pass to the open shooter at the top of the crease. He wired it under the crossbar, knocking the water bottle off of the net and tying the score at 3. The action continued back-and-forth, culminating with Coblenz feeding Dickson who passed the puck to Lim. Lim took his time and made sure the puck was deposited in the place that mattered most to give the Tyees a 4-3 lead. With less than 10 seconds to go, the Capitals almost repeated their third goal but an excellent save by Franceschini preserved the 4-3 victory.
Sunday, had the Tyees on the road as they went up and over The Hump to play Port Alberni in an exhibition game. The Tyees maintained their intensity from the previous day and started to quickly wear down the Bulldog defence with their forechecking. Coblenz opened the scoring, assisted by Dickson and Liam Rivett as the Tyees broke out cleanly and quickly from their own zone. The Bulldogs created a two-on-one opportunity of their own but Dominik Bellefleur made a brilliant save to keep them off the scoreboard. The Tyees fed off of that positive energy as Lim snapped a hard shot on the PA net that their goalie couldn’t handle. Coblenz was Johnny-on-the-spot for the rebound to put the Tyees up 2-0. Dickson scored the next two goals; the first assisted by Coblenz and Rivett while the second was assisted by Dustin Kew as he launched a rocket from the point. The first period ended 4-0 for the Tyees.
The second period started with a bit of line-juggling. All of the players were fired up and tried to make the most of their chances. Coblenz was the beneficiary of good passing from Lund and Lim; 5-0.
Cory Bukauskas worked on the forecheck to get the puck to Maddison Devlin. She took a hit but made the pass to Lund and he made no mistake with his shot on net; 6-0. Will McLean got a shift on the first line and it paid off as he completed an odd-man rush by scoring his first goal of the year to make it 7-0, chasing the Bulldog starting goalie from the game. PA got a bit of a motivational spark with the change in goalies and kept working.
They went on the power-play and scored as Bellefleur made consecutive three saves, bang-bang-bang, and tried to extend for the fourth but couldn’t quite make it; 7-1.
The Bulldogs created a breakaway from centre ice but Bellefleur made a tremendous pad save to deny the shooter. The Tyees responded with sustained pressure but were unable to score prior to the flood. The second period ended with the Tyees leading 7-1.
The third period started with teams trading power-play goals as Hoff wired a shot from the point, assisted by Dickson and Coblenz. PA scored but took a cross-checking penalty after the goal during their celebration in the Tyee crease.
On the ensuing power-play, Dickson scored his hat-trick goal, assisted by Lund. There was going to be a tripping call on the play but that was negated by the goal. The Bulldogs took a few liberties while short-handed and were penalized as a result. After a cross-check was called against PA, a coach was ejected for his outburst. The power-plays continued and the goals kept coming as Olivia Knowles launched a laser of a shot into the top corner, assisted by Dawson Frank and Rivett while McLean provided the screen in front; 10-3.
Lund scored his second of the game, assisted by Coblenz, making the final score 12-4 for the Tyees.