The Campbell River Booster Juice Bantam A Tyees were in tough at the start but soon got their game going in Port Moody at the Thanksgiving Bantam Tournament last weekend.
The Tyees were in the Double A Division of the tournament and had two A1 teams in their bracket. Their first game was against North Vancouver A1 team. There appeared to be some sort of a selective electromagnet under the ice at the start of this game. It only held Tyee skate blades firmly on the ice while allowing North Van to skate everywhere at high speed. Before an electrician was located to turn the switch off, North Van had put four goals up on the scoreboard.
Once the Tyees got their feet moving, they made a valiant effort but just ran out of time, losing by a score of 4-3. Game MVP was Olivia Knowles as she frequently contained or eliminated odd-man rushes on the Tyee net with her exceptional hockey IQ and great skating. Game 2 featured the A2 team from North Shore Winter Club (NWSC) against the Tyees. Confidence is a fragile thing even at the highest level of professional sports. The NSWC team played at an up-tempo pace with crisp passing that showcased why hockey is “the game.” The blistering pace took a bit of a toll on the Tyees as NSWC ultimately skated to a 7-1 victory. Seth Parker was selected game MVP for his efforts in patrolling the blue line with determination and grit while laying out any NSWC player who came his way.
The Tyees played Aldergrove A1 in their third game. Fans saw the Tyees working hard for each other in all areas of the rink. Battles were won by Tyees in offensive and defensive zones. Shooting lanes were cleared to allow an unobstructed view from the goal crease.
Nic Ordano picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season as it turned out to be the game winner in the Tyees 6-4 victory.
The Game MVP was Jaxon Ward who used his speed and strength to his advantage while notching a hat trick, including a short-handed marker that turned the tide in favour of the Tyees.
Out of medal contention, the Tyees resumed their rivalry with an Island opponent as they faced Nanaimo A2 in their final game of the tournament.
The Tyees seemed to draw inspiration from their recent success. Without saying it aloud, it seemed that they understood that they can compete with anyone but in order to do so, they must have a true commitment from everyone.
Forecheckers relentlessly got on tired defenders, won pucks and fed the points for shots on goal. Forwards came back hard which gave defenders the opportunity to stand up at the Tyee blueline or make a good switch to take the attacker out of the play. Loose pucks quickly became Tyees’ property or were chipped out of harm’s way. Opposing offensive players were moved aside while rebounds were controlled and kept to a minimum. The Tyees skated fast and furious to a well-earned 7-1 victory. Game MVP honours went to Ordano for his tenacity on the forecheck, leading by example and his second goal of the season.
Tyee goalies Dominik Bellefleur and Carson Bjorgsford finished the tournament with identical records of one win and one loss.