A dramatic, game-winning goal with 1:07 remaining doomed the Campbell River Bantam B Tyees to a 3-2 loss to the visiting Triport Eagles Sunday at Strathcona Garden’s Rink 2.
But the seeds of the loss were sown earlier, when the Tyees were unable to capitalize on a series of man-advantage opportunities.
“Definitely, earlier in the game power-play opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on,” Tyees coach Vince Devlin said. “It bit us in the end.”
The Tyees never trailed until Triport’s Tanner Roberts lifted a shot from the low slot over the glove of goalie Colton Zaleschuk to snap a 2-2 tie with 1:07 left on the game clock. It turned out to be the game’s final play, as the teams’ ice time had run out in a contest plagued by penalties and stoppages.
“There was a little lack of discipline,” Devlin said. “The last 10 minutes we lost our focus, and North Island never quit. They wanted it more.”
Campbell River fell to 0-2 in the Tier 3 North Division round robin — both losses by a single goal. The Tyees wrap up round-robin play on the road this weekend, with games at Nanaimo Saturday and Cowichan Valley Sunday. The top two teams in the North standings will move on to the Island semifinals.
Both Tyees goals came on 5-on-3 power plays. After a scoreless first period, Noah Fladager gave Campbell River a 1-0 lead at 5:43 of the second, punching a point-blank rebound into the empty side of the net following teammate Drew Price’s shot from the opposite wing.
The Eagles answered less than a minute later, with Michael Perez one-timing a shot from the low slot off Roberts’ crossing pass.
The Tyees went back up 2-1 when Cole Devlin’s shot from the bottom of the circle bounced off Eagles goalie Nigel Walkus and into the net at 7:48 of the third.
Again, the Eagles responded, with Roberts poking home an easy tap at the off post to make it 2-2 after Zaleschuk swept to his right to stop a rush by Fox at 11:03.
The Eagles (1-2 playoffs) overcame 28 minutes in penalties — to 12 minutes for the hosts — and the resulting frustration that boiled over to the team’s bench. The infractions included a warning to the coaches and a two-minute bench minor, but never spilled over onto the ice in the form of retaliation.
“With everything going on in the game, there was nothing in favour for us to win except the effort of the kids,” Triport assistant coach Chad Mackenzie said. “The coaches didn’t always handle it well, but the kids just put everything out there and played for each other.”
Tier 2 playoffs
The Bantam A Tyees also suffered a narrow playoff loss, dropping a 4-3 home decision to Powell River in the Tier 2 North round-robin round at Rod Brind’Amour Arena Saturday.
The bantams head on the road for their final two round-robin games, Saturday at Oceanside and Sunday at Courtenay against Comox Valley.