The No. 1 Autobody Bantam A Tyees travelled to Port Moody over the Thanksgiving long weekend for a tournament.
They played a total of five games over four days while some parents managed to incorporate a little retail therapy that included a trip to a large Scandinavian store known for home furnishings and flat-box packages that you assemble yourself.
The first game was against Cloverdale. Right off of the drop of the puck, Dawson Frank scored, assisted by Sage Lim, to give the Tyees a lead after only five seconds. Cloverdale was still breaking the smelling salts open when Frank scored again twenty-one second later, assisted by Lim and Lukas Lund. The Tyee forecheck was tenacious and generated turnovers which resulted in scoring chances. While on the power play, Josh Coblenz buried the rebound from Brendan Hoff’s howitzer of a point-shot to extend the Tyees’ lead. Later, while short-handed, Coblenz won the race to the puck and fed a perfect pass over to Cory Bukauskas which resulted in the Tyees first short-handed goal of the season. Cloverdale was able to get on the board late in the game but Dominik Bellefleur made some key saves along the way as the Tyees won 4-1. Game MVP was Bellefleur.
Game two had the Tyees squaring off against North Shore Winter Club (NSWC) 2. The Tyees showed that they can more than hold their own against NSWC as they dominated play when it was five skaters on five skaters. Unfortunately one of their favourite weapons, the power play, seemed to be caught in a many-sailings-wait at Departure Bay and wasn’t with them for this game. NSWC took a 1-0 lead in the first period while on the power play and extended it in the second on another power play. Kyle Franceschini was keeping the game within reach and giving the Tyees a chance in fine Grant Fuhr fashion. NSWC scored again late in the second period to make it a 3-0 game. The Tyees broke the goose-egg as Coblenz buried the rebound from a Hoff point-shot after Bukauskas got the puck to him.
Midway through the third period, Olivia Knowles put the puck down low to Coblenz and he slid it to Frank for a wide-open goal from inside the right hash mark. Now trailing 3-2, the Tyees poured on the pressure but NSWC withstood it to win the game. Franceschini was selected the Tyees MVP for this game.
Game three against Vancouver was almost a case of everything going the Tyees’ way.
Everyone was contributing with either body-checks on the forecheck or back-checking to neutralize the counterattack. Passes were tape-to-tape, hard and crisp. The Tyees kept their foot on the gas and put Vancouver away with a complete team effort; final score 9-2.
Game MVP was Darian Swift as he showed why there are many who believe he is a complete power-forward and someone to keep an eye on down the line.
The semi-final game had the Tyees matched against the host team from Port Moody.
Some players seemed nervous but a few shifts of end-to-end action helped settle those nerves, especially when the fore-checking resulted in a couple of good scoring chances.
Despite controlling most of the play, the first period ended with Port Moody ahead by a score of 2-1. The Tyees were able to tie the score late in the second when Coblenz fired a shot that the goalie got most of but not all of…and Lim was able to put the loose puck behind the goalie into the empty net.
The third period was entertaining as the Tyee forecheck kept pressure on Port Moody. Their efforts were rewarded as Coblenz fed the puck to Lim at the Port Moody blueline. Lim beat the defenceman wide and as he cut to the net to what appeared to be his forehand, he put the puck into the net on his backhand for a great highlight reel goal. The Tyees were able to kill off a late penalty and win by a score of 3-2. Game MVP was awarded to Coblenz.
The final game gave the Tyees a rematch against NSWC…and this one didn’t disappoint anyone who saw it as it went to double-overtime.
The Tyees started slowly and NSWC made them pay dearly for their lethargy as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. The paint may have been blistered slightly as the coaches reminded the players that the period had not been up to the same standard as earlier and they needed to re-focus on the task at hand.
The pep talk seemed to have some effect as Coblenz received a pass from Lim and wired a shot from twenty feet out to get the Tyees on the scoreboard. A brief loss of focus allowed NSWC to make a tap-in goal of their own. Coblenz got the puck to Bukauskas as they worked their magic again while short-handed for a tap-in goal to bring it to 3-2. NSWC got one more before the end of the second to extend their lead to 4-2.
Cue the theme from “Rocky” as the Tyees kept working in the third period. With eleven minutes left to play in regulation, Coblenz brought the Tyees within one goal as he fired the puck high on the blocker side.
About six minutes later, Swift let loose with a howitzer of his own to bring the Tyees even with NSWC, 4-4.
The first five minute overtime period had four skaters against four skaters.
The Tyees put some pressure on NSWC but couldn’t seem to put the biscuit in the basket. Matt Barker and Dustin Kew were launching bombs from the point but the score remained tied.
The second overtime period was three-on-three. Knowles jumped low from the point but had the puck jump on her.
The Tyees kept forechecking and were putting everything they could on the net. With just over a minute left and a shootout looming, NSWC were able to find an open defenceman and he stepped into a shot that Franceschini had no chance on.
Final score was NSWC 5, Tyees 4 with Lim earning game MVP honours.
Aggregate scoring for the tournament was Coblenz (8 goals, 10 assists); Lim (4G, 5A); Hoff (1G; 5A); Frank and Swift (3G); Bukauskas (2G, 1A); Tyler Dickson (1G; 2A); Barker, Kew and Knowles (2A); Lund and Liam Rivett (1A). Although they weren’t on the scoring summaries, Doug Campbell, Maddison Devlin, Will McLean and Marcellus Wilson also contributed to the team’s results.