The Number 1 Auto Body Bantam ‘A’ Tyees split a pair of tiering round games played last weekend at Strathcona Gardens.
On Friday night Campbell River built a 3-1 lead over the powerful Victoria Racquet Club Kings but gave up six goals in a wild second period in a 10-4 defeat. Tyson Goebel, Gavin Rauser, Bryce Eppler, and Rio Massee scored in a losing cause. It was a different story Saturday afternoon as the Tyees overcame a 3-1 deficit and beat the Nanaimo ‘B’ Clippers 5-3. Cole Rennie, Grady McInnis, Gavin Rauser, Andy Stevens, and Travis Goodwin tallied for the winners. Clippers net minder Dylan Ferguson was spectacular for the visitors as the Tyees carried the play and outshot Nanaimo by a wide margin.
Tyees head coach Peter Martin said Victoria was definitely the better team on Friday and helped put things in perspective for his players.
“Prior to playing Victoria we had won our two previous games by a combined score of 23-3,” he said, “We needed to play a better team to see where we are at. We were good at times (against Victoria) but not good enough overall.”
Martin was pleased his squad was able to bounce back against Nanaimo, despite a quick turn around, and provided an explanation for his team’s slow start in that contest.
“It’s hard for players to manufacture intensity,” he said, “They’ve got to find a way but it’s not always easy. They know the caliber of the teams they are playing against, whether it’s Nanaimo 1 or 2. The fact they played more unselfishly, moved the puck to the open man, and had a great territorial advantage were all good signs.”
Martin sees the tiering round as a good opportunity to assess his team and prepare the players for bigger challenges to come.
“You always learn more about your team when they lose than when they win,” he commented, “You see how players respond to difficult situations, it exposes cracks and weaknesses in guy’s games, and also identifies areas where we, as coaches, need to focus our energy. Right now I can see we need to be better in our own zone, particularly in terms of one-on-one play.”
The Tyees tiering round record now stands at 2 and 1. Their next game is on the road, set for Saturday, Oct 15 against the Nanaimo ‘A’ Clippers. Their next home game is Sunday, October 16 against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.