The KLP Construction Bantam A Tyees set out on their first road trip of this young season.
The first stop was at the Nanaimo Ice Center to visit the Tier 1 Clippers. Nanaimo is a perennial powerhouse in island hockey. The Tyees knew it would be tough test, but were excited for the challenge.
The game didn’t start well, the boys were a little weary from the road trip and it showed in the first period.
Nanaimo poured on the pressure and before the boys knew what happened, the horn sounds for the end of the first and we’re down 5-0.
It’s amazing how a little break can turn the tides. The second period saw the tyees wake up and show the crowd the intensity and compete level that this team is known for. Damian Rennie was able to pounce on a rebound early in the period and close the gap to 4.
The Tyees had numerous opportunities in the middle frame, but couldn’t buy a break. The third saw the visitors continue the pressure; unfortunately the clippers were able to capitalize on their few chances and opened up a 8-1 lead. Jalen Price wasn’t quite done, as he rifled a snapper into the top corner late in the third. 8-2 final.
Sunday, saw the team continue south on the Island Highway, for a duel with the Kerry Park Islanders.
This year’s squad seems to be jinxed in the first periods. Just 15 sec into Sunday’s game saw a Tyee player ejected for what the referee called a kneeing penalty. It was a tough break as the crowd saw a clean hip check, unfortunately the fans don’t call the game. The boys had to dig deep, as they had a five minute penalty to kill. The visiting squad got a huge boost and they killed off the major and were carrying the play.
This was a very physical game, bodies were flying everywhere, both teams could sense the importance of the outcome. The end of the first period was a tie game 1-1. The Tyee goal came from Damian Rennie, assisted by Kaden Barnes and Clinton Nelson.
The Tyees continued the onslaught in the second. Their strong physical play and domination of the boards was taking its toll on the hosts. A trio of tyee goals vaulted them to a 4-1 lead after two.
The Islanders showed impressive resolve in the third period, as they were physically outmatched by the bigger Tyees, but showed no signs of backing down. Cody Savey was skating well all game and provided a noticeable spark for the visitors. His physical dominance and quick release gives him some extra space and the skill to take advantage. He ended up with two goals and two assists. Another standout was Luka Kellerhals, his strong positional play and heads up passing frustrated the Kerry Park fore checkers. Seth Parker buried his first of the year and helps propel the Tyees to a 6-4 final. The action continues this Saturday and the boys take on the always-tough Powell River Kings at 1:45.