Though not a perfect weekend for the KLP Construction Bantam A Tyees, they came close by going undefeated in a pair of league games this past weekend.
Their first game, which took place on Saturday, was a well-deserved road victory over the Saanich Braves.
Logan Chapdelaine opened the scoring just minutes into the game, and River Fahey added another tally before the end of the first. Saanich scored their first goal on goaltender Antoine Minfray during the first minute of the second period and the Tyees held their slimmest of leads until the floodgates opened late in the second stanza.
The Tyees scored four goals in the final four minutes of the second period by Jory Swanson, Noah Fladager, Ethan Mainprize, and Fahey to blow the game wide open and give the Tyees a 6 – 1 lead after two.
A hat-trick goal by Fahey and a second by Swanson in the third capped what would be six unanswered goals by the Tyees en route to a convincing 8 – 1 win.
The following day the Tyees played a highly anticipated game versus a talented Juan de Fuca Grizzlies squad at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
As projected by many, the game was a close seesaw battle with both teams trading blows from the opening face off. Juan de Fuca scored their opening goal on goaltender Jayce Hudak six minutes into the game and was able to maintain their slim lead until Davis Frank tied the game two minutes in to period two.
The Grizzlies took a 2–1 lead in period two, and carried that lead into the third period until defenseman Luka Kellerhals received the puck at the top of the right circle and snapped a wicked snap shot high and past the goaltender’s glove to knot the game at two.
Though the Grizzlies regained the lead just a couple minutes later, another defenseman, Matthew Ubriaco let go a wrist shot from left circle that made it’s way to the back of the net through a maze of players to bring the game back to even half way through the, final frame.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game, Tyee forward Fladager scored two goals in less than a minute span to give Campbell River what appeared to be a comfortable two goal lead.
However, just before JDF pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker, they struck quickly with two goals in under forty seconds to tie the game for good at 5 – 5.
It was a hard fought tie that felt bitter sweet after giving up a two-goal lead late in the game.
“Our guys battled hard and deserved that win,” said forward Davis Frank. “In what was one of our biggest games of the season thus far, we were pleased with how we played, but we still would have liked the win.”
The Tyees play one more league game prior to Christmas versus Powell River this Saturday at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
After the holiday the Tyees will travel to the Okanagan to participate in the highly acclaimed Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament (KIBIHT) beginning on Dec. 29.