The Campbell River Strathcona Toyota Midget A Tyees played a pair of tiering games last weekend.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, they headed way down south to play Juan de Fuca (JDF). Dominik Bellefleur started in goal for the Tyees, with affiliates Tim Alfred, Aiden Longacre and Kyle Smith getting their first taste of action.
Both teams started with a quick pace and kept goalies honest…or was it the other way around?
Bellefleur played well, matching the JDF goalie save for save. The Tyees got on the board first as Owen Boyd tapped in an uncontrolled rebound off of a Doug Campbell howitzer from the point.
JDF got that back before the end of the first period as they worked hard in the offensive zone.
Some spirited play in the second produced chances at both ends but JDF snuck one across the goal-line just before the mid-game flood to take the lead, 2-1.
No scoring to end the second and despite facing a whirling dervish attack, the game was still up for grabs as Bellefleur’s efforts combined with good, solid team defence gave the team a chance to win.
The Tyees tried but could not equalize in this one as JDF ultimately got one more in the third to win 3-1.
It’s true that the best way to get the somewhat bitter taste of a close loss out of your mouth is with the sweet taste of victory, so the Tyees were grateful to be hosting Nanaimo at Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Antoine Minfray started between the pipes with the same affiliates playing in this one. The visitors opened the scoring in the first period but the Tyees responded well with Bryce Narhi moving the puck to Smith who worked it over to Alfred. He turned the red light on, tying the score at one.
That really seemed to spark the Tyees. While on the forecheck, some observers noticed Ben Regier taking a hit to feed the puck to Brendan Almer at the point. Almer’s wrist shot rippled the twine as the Tyees took the lead. The scoresheet has no record of Regier but sometimes stuff happens as his linemates Jaxon Ward and Garrett Lee reminded him.
The Tyees held onto a 2-1 lead at the end of the second period. The pace increased in the third and Minfray battened down the hatches to weather the storm.
The Tyees extended their lead as Luke Lund made the most of an opportunity to bury one and make it 3-1.
Nanaimo sensed one slipping away and kept the pressure on the Tyees. After making a series of defensive stands, the Tyees went on the attack. Lee was able to get the puck to Regier who spotted Ward in a prime shooting position. Ward made no mistake and sealed the deal with the final goal in this 4-1 Tyee victory.
Concourse regulars were overheard to say that each Tyee goalie played very well as did the skaters including affiliates. There’s a sense that the team understands what’s required of them in terms of systems and were committed to them during both games. That certainly bodes well for the Campbell River Strathcona Toyota Midget A Tyees during the remainder of the season.
Next up for the Tyees is an exhibition game against Comox Valley at the friendly confines of the Brindy on Sunday, Oct. 23 starting at 3:15 p.m.