The No 1 Auto Body Bantam A Tyees staged a furious comeback but it wasn’t enough as they lost their regular season opener 6-4 to the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies.
The game was played Saturday afternoon at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
Trailing 3-0 early in the second period the Tyees rallied on a pair of goals by captain Gavin Rauser and power-play markers by Cole Rennie and Kurtis Scriba to pull even 4-4 heading into the third.
Campbell River missed several glorious chances to take the lead before Juan de Fuca took advantage of a sloppy line change and scored the eventual game-winner with just over five minutes remaining.
They added an empty-netter in the final minute.
“We had a couple of bad breaks in the early going and that put us behind,” said Tyees assistant coach Mike Hanna. “But the boys battled hard to get back in the game and unfortunately couldn’t pull it out.”
The Tyees out-shot the Grizzlies 33-15.
Hanna feels the team is close to breaking out of a frustrating slump that includes three losses at a recent tournament in Kelowna.
“We (the coaches) see a lot of positive signs, absolutely,” he said, “They are a hard working bunch of kids, they all get along, and have excellent support from their parents.
“We’ve had a tough couple of weeks but I’m confident we can get things back on track.”
The Tyees get a chance to even their league record at 1 and 1 when they play host to the Nanaimo Clippers this weekend.
The opening face-off is set for 1:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.