The Campbell River Midget A Tyees played a pair of games this past weekend, coming up on the wrong end of 3-1 score in Port Alberni and a 6-1 outcome at home against Saanich. The lone goal in each game was scored by Luke Lund. He was assisted in Port Alberni by Ethan Mainprize and Liam Rivett, while Owen Boyd and Nic Ordano helped out at home.
This is the first bit of adversity the team has faced this season but likely won’t be the last. Every player kept working hard; each made brilliant plays whether it was making a great save even if it rang off the mask, battling in the corners to get the puck or making a tape-to-tape pass. Unfortunately, every player also suffered a few temporary brain cramps, and when more than one player has a brain cramp at the same moment on the ice, opponents have odd-man attacks or even breakaways, which often end up with the puck in the back of the net. The cumulative number of offensive chances was certainly skewed in favour of their opponents over the weekend.
Yet those moments when they were clicking produced some fabulous hockey. Moments like when they were in the offensive zone, Mainprize passed the puck back to the point to Rivett who fed Lund on the side wall and Lund wired the puck past the Alberni Valley goalie. Ordano made a solid forecheck in the offensive zone which allowed Boyd to grab the loose puck and feed Lund for a one-timer that beat the Saanich goalie.
Some of their collective flashes of brilliance didn’t produce goals but prevented them such as when Seth Parker took away an opposition pass, allowing Antoine Minfray to focus on the shooter on a 2 on 1. Or moments like when Heydon Cross hustled to keep the puck in at the blueline of the offensive zone or not so small plays like Bryce Narhi’s pokecheck to knock the puck off an opponent’s blade and into the corner.
Coach Bill Humphreys, former teacher and hockey coach at Notre Dame in Saskatchewan, had a few words after Sunday’s loss to Saanich.
“The team kept working hard,” he said. “We can see progress in some areas, which is encouraging. If everyone continues to stay the course, we will get there in the end.”
Humphreys and Coach Jim MacLean are giving back to minor hockey after making significant contributions in other parts of Canada. Humphreys noted that it was truly a pleasure to see Notre Dame alumni at earlier Campbell River Minor Hockey games, especially in the coaching ranks.
VIAHA is still working on game schedules at this time but the Midget A Tyees are preparing for a trip to the southern end of the Island, likely to Peninsula, this weekend.