The newly minted Bantam C Ravens’s struggles in the third period came back to haunt them when they hosted the Oceanside Sharks at Rod Brind’Amour Arena Sunday afternoon.

Campbell River Bantam Ravens welcome relegation

The Bantam Ravens were told they will be going down a division just prior to a match versus Oceanside last Sunday afternoon

Literally moments before taking the floor on Sunday May 27 for the game against Oceanside Bantam B, the Windsor Plywood Bantam Ravens were officially notified by Vancouver Island Minor Lacrosse that they had been relegated from B to C division.

If the standard for B division is a minimum of 35 years of experience (total team experience after removing the highest and lowest values), the Ravens are around 25.  The relegation of the Ravens plus two other teams from B to C should result in closer, more competitive games to the end of the regular season.

The players reacted to this news as if a weight had been lifted off of their shoulders.  Their relaxed state didn’t mean they were going to let Oceanside run over them…far from it!  Nolan Morrison opened the scoring with a wicked shot to the goalie’s stick-side.

He came to the bench and shared with everyone “he gave me that whole side…it’s wide-open!”

To help illustrate his point, Morrison scored the first three goals for the Ravens and their final one as well. He finished with four goals in the game – three to the same spot. Greatly improved positioning on defence and commitment to each other helped the Ravens avoid panic and frustration as they finished the first period trailing by a score of 5-4.

The second period belonged to the Ravens.

Nolan Fair was rewarded for playing tight defence as he earned a few loose balls that he either converted into breakaways for himself or used to send others on runs of their own.

Fair led all Raven scorers with one goal and four assists. Goalie Will McLean was solid between the pipes, sometimes stopping three or four shots within a five or 10 second span.

After one flurry, McLean scooped the ball into his goalie stick and looked towards mid-court for the usual outlet pass.

Ross Rickman was there with his stick up, basket high, giving McLean an excellent target.  Despite light pressure from Oceanside, McLean stepped into his pass.

Rickman caught the ball cleanly and quickly turned up the floor. Like Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux putting a move on a defenceman at the blueline, Rickman slipped through the Oceanside defenders and took the ball to the net with a great burst of speed.  Remembering Morrison’s words, Rickman fired a rocket on net to the stick-side and scored his first goal of the season to give the Ravens a lead of 7-6 at the end of the second.

The third period saw Oceanside respond with a vengeance. They let it all hang out in an effort to score.  The Ravens focused on controlling the ball, steering the ball-carrier into the corner and containing them. Oceanside scored six goals in the third period while the Ravensonly added two more of their own.  Final score was 12-9 in favour of Oceanside.

Additional Raven scoring came from Zach Lontayao (two goals), Connor Ludvigson (two assists), Reilly Doney (1G), Daniel Gilson (1A), David Lavigne (1A) and Jasper Osterhout-Code (1A).

The schedule-makers are still working on the revised schedule for the Bantam C Ravens so stay tuned for their next game.