Bantams to play for Island title

The Campbell River squad was coming off two lopsided wins in their final games of the round robin

The KLP Construction Bantam A Tyees will play for the right to represent the Island at the British Columbia Bantam Tier 2 Championships.

The team travelled south to face the Saanich Braves this past Sunday. The Braves finished the South Island playoffs sitting at the top of the standings, which secured them home ice advantage in the crossover game. The Tyees and Braves have not faced each other this season so neither team knew what to expect from their opponent.

The Campbell River squad was coming off two lopsided wins in their final games of the round robin, winning by a combined score of 24-1. The fans were hoping that the boys would be able to raise their intensity level, as Saanich is a perennial powerhouse in Tier 2.

It was clear from the drop of the puck that the Tyees were wanting to make a statement. The vast majority of the first 10 min were spent in the Braves end. The visiting team peppered the Saanich goalie with shots. Despite the near constant pressure, Saanich was able to open the scoring, on a perfect shot, post and in. To the delight of the Campbell River fans, Codey Savey was able to tie the game up with a blast from the point.

The second period looked very similar to the first, the Tyees dominating territorial play, but the Braves were able to keep their opponents to the outside and not allow many shots from the slot. Savey scored another beauty to put the Tyees in the lead, assisted by Damian Rennie and Jacob Hartley. The lead would be short lived, as the Braves were able to tie the game on the power play.

Once again the boys from the north took the lead, this time Braydon Kratzmann finished a beautiful passing play from River Fahey and Jalen Price. As was advertised the feisty Braves were not going to go away quietly, as they scored again, sending the teams to the dressing rooms tied at three.

Like the mighty fish that our teams are named after, the Tyees seemed to smell wounded herring in the water. Matthew Ubriaco broke the deadlock in the first minute of the third, with a rocket from the point, assisted by Nolan Corrado. Kratzmann tallied his second of the game tipping in a shot from Brendan Almer. The Tyees continued to circle; especially Codey Savey, line mates, Hartley and Rennie would set up Savey for his hat trick, and extending the Campbell River lead to three.

The last few minutes were not without drama, as our boys found themselves with three skaters in the box.  This was a very difficult game for a goaltender, long periods without any action, then being forced to make an important save. Starting goalie, Matt Johnson saved his best play for the final four minutes. With the team two men down, Johnson stopped a barrage of chances from the Braves, including a breakaway, flashing the leather and preserving the win for the mighty Tyees. On a very unselfish play as time was winding down, Nolan Corrado passed up an open net to feed Savey for his fourth of the game. Final score 7-4. The win propels the Tyees into the Island Final against a very familiar foe. The Powell River Kings will host game number  one of the best of three final series. Game two will be at Rod BrindA`mour Arena on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 12:15 p.m.