The No. 1 Auto Body Bantam ‘A’ Tyees warmed up for the playoffs with a couple of convincing exhibition wins on the road over the weekend.
On Saturday, Campbell River roared out to an 8-0 first period lead and cruised to a 13-2 victory over the Oceanside Generals. Both Austin Simper and Gavin Rauser registered hat tricks, while Grady McInnes and Josh Coblenz each notched a pair. Tyson Goebel, Kurtis Scriba, and Sage Lim rounded out the scoring.
Sunday afternoon in Duncan, the Tyee train remained in high gear, steamrolling the Cowichan Valley Capitals 7-2. Simper and Rauser again led the way, tallying two apiece, with singles going to McInnes, Devyn Grant, and Tyson Goebel, who scored on a rare penalty shot.
“We’ve had a fair amount of time off recently so it was good to see the boys come out and play hard this weekend,” said Tyees assistant coach Mike Hanna. “Nick (Kirchner) made a couple of gigantic saves for us early in the game today (against Cowichan) and that was enough to inspire the rest of the team. We never looked back after the first period.”
Tyee captain Gavin Rauser likes what he sees heading into the post season.
“We’ve come a long way,” says the high-scoring left winger, “We had a slow start to the season but improved a lot recently and seem to be peaking at the right time. Our lines have been together for a while now and are really starting to build some chemistry.”
The Tyees open the Vancouver Island Tier 2 playoffs on the road. They travel to Port Alberni for a meeting with the Bulldogs Sunday afternoon at 2:45. Their first home playoff game is Sunday, February 12 against Oceanside.