The No. 1 Autobody Bantam A Tyees played a pair of games last weekend; a Division 1 regular season game at home against Victoria Racquet Club (VRC) and an exhibition game in Port Alberni.
The Tyees have had their ups-and-downs in the early going of the regular season. While the effort has been there most of the time, they haven’t had a complete team game and it’s shown on the scoreboard. They were on the wrong end of a 4-2 score against Juan de Fuca after leading most of the game and also lost a 5-4 game against Cowichan Valley at home.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Tyees hosted Victoria Racquet Club (VRC) at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
The game started fast and VRC worked a set play off of a face-off to find the open player at the side of the net for a tap-in goal to take the early lead.
The Tyees replied quickly as Josh Coblenz leveled the score with a tap-in rebound off a scramble.
With their close-but-no-cigar efforts fresh in their minds, the Tyees kept trying to put everything on the Victoria goal. That paid off as Coblenz wired a shot that over-powered the Victoria goalie to give the Tyees the lead.
Now fully engaged and motivated, Sage Lim worked some magic to put a shot on net that the VRC goalie couldn’t quite control. Coblenz jumped on the rebound and buried it for a natural hat-trick and a Tyee 3-1 lead at the end of the first period.
The second period had stronger forechecking by the Tyees, combined with good break-outs of their own end. Coblenz got the puck to Liam Rivett at the point for a howitzer of a shot that Dickson redirected for the fourth Tyees’ goal. Second period ended with the score 4-1.
Tyee goalie Kyle Franceschini was playing well and controlling rebounds but VRC managed to score two quick goals to narrow the Tyee lead to 4-3.
That’s when Lim made a sick deke in the offensive zone, Coblenz followed up and snapped a wrist shot into the top corner to restore the two goal advantage.
The Tyees took advantage of a power-play with Brendan Hoff firing a cannon on net that the VRC goalie never saw as it went by him for a 6-3 lead. VRC made it 6-4 with two minutes to go but gave up another to Lim as he put the biscuit into the empty net for a final score of 7-4. The Tyees out-shot VRC 47-26 in this game.
On Sunday the team travelled to Port Alberni to take on the Bulldogs.
Tyee goalie Dominik Bellefleur got the start and played well in net. The Tyees applied forechecking pressure early, resulting in a Port Alberni penalty at 14:39 of the first period. Some patient puck movement resulted in the Tyee’s Darian Swift taking a pass from Dustin Kew at the right hash-mark and rocketing a quick snapshot to make it 1-0 Tyees.
The Tyees dominated the next six to seven minutes, with Alberni rarely getting the puck deep. Coblenz found a wide open Kew at the blueline. Kew quickly snapped a shot that Lim tipped to make it 2-0. The second period started with the Tyees creating all kinds of chances but failing to score.
Coblenz was leading by example as he was hitting anything that got in his way. He was rewarded for his efforts soon after when he beat the Alberni goaltender for a 3-0 lead.
In the third period the Tyees got a little too aggressive clearing the net and found themselves down two men. Port Alberni wasted little time scoring to make it 3-1.
With five minutes left in the third, Lim found Dickson open behind the net and as the D-men left the front of the net, Coblenz snuck in and received a perfect Dickson pass. Coblenz snapped a shot high blocker side to make it 4-1. Coblenz put the icing on the cake as he raced in to find the loose puck 10 feet out in front of the Alberni net with nothing but the goalie facing him…5-1 Tyee victory.
The Tyees are heading to Penticton for a tournament Nov 9-12. Coaches, players and families extend their appreciation for those who have or are currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces…lest we forget.