Bantam A Tyee forward Grady McInnis fights for the puck against the Oceanside Generals netminder. The Tyees came up with their biggest game of the season last Sunday afternoon at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.

Bantam Tyees advance to semi-finals

The Bantam A Tyees have advanced to the rep hockey semi-finals

The No. 1 Auto Body Bantam A Tyees have advanced to the Island Tier 2 semi-finals after thrashing the Oceanside Generals 8-1 Sunday afternoon at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.

It was a must-win for the Tyees, who were facing elimination after a 3-2 upset loss to Port Alberni the weekend before.

Tyees head coach Peter Martin was pleased with the way his players responded to the adversity.

“Losing to Port Alberni was a wake-up call,” he said, “Today everyone was much better prepared and brought excellent energy, intensity, and focus. We talked about keeping our shots low and getting to the front of the net for rebounds.”

The Tyees received a huge boost before the game with the return of a couple of key veterans to the line-up. Right-winger Travis Goodwin missed over two months with a broken ankle, while defenceman Joe Gage had been sidelined since mid-January with a concussion. Goodwin opened the scoring on his first shift, snapping in a rebound just 90 seconds into the contest.

Gage also hit the score sheet, blasting home a point shot in the third period.

“Travis definitely adds some offensive pop to our line-up,” coach Martin said. “He scored the first time he touched the puck – unreal!  And Joe adds a lot of stability to our defence. He’s a good puck-mover and has great vision.”

The Tyees led 3-0 after the first period and 5-1 after two. They dominated from the opening face off, out shooting the Generals by a final count of 54-5.

Goodwin’s line mate Tyson Goebel tallied twice for the Black and Orange. Singles went to Austin Simper, Gavin Rauser, Rio Massee, and Andy Stevens. Tyees Grady McInnes and Josh Coblenz each had a pair of assists.

The Tyees travel to Victoria this weekend to take on the Juan de Fuca Grizzles in a one game, sudden death semi-final.  The winner advances to the Island Finals against either Port Alberni or Saanich.