The Campbell River No. 1 Autobody Bantam A Tyees will be hosting the Juan de Fuca (JDF) Grizzlies in the first game of a best-of-three final series for the Tier 2 playoff championships at Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The Tyees have played the Grizzlies well but haven’t quite climbed the mountain in terms of believing in themselves and their capabilities. Both teams played in Division 1 in the regular season. JDF won the regular season with a record of 6 wins 4 losses and 2 ties while the Tyees finished tied for third at 6 wins and 6 losses.
The Grizzlies have two offensive threats who rival the Tyees’ Josh Coblenz and Sage Lim in their ability to read the play and each other to create high quality scoring chances. The Tyee defence of Matt Barker, Brendan Hoff, Dustin Kew, Olivia Knowles, Liam Rivett and Marcellus Wilson know what they’re up against and have shut them down at times. Now they need the forwards (Cory Bukauskas, Coblenz, Maddison Devlin, Tyler Dickson, Dawson Frank, Lim, Lukas Lund, Will McLean and Darian Swift) to continue to forecheck and back-check. This team approach to defence will help to limit the scoring chances and allow goalies Dominik Bellefleur and Kyle Franceschini to clearly see the puck. The Tyees hope to pack our barn for this key game against a strong opponent.
According to Head Coach Vince Devlin, “This team has worked hard all season to earn their place in the Tier 2 finals. Since our evaluations and tiering games, we played three A2 tournaments against high caliber opponents. We won two and finished second in the other. Playing Division 1 regular season games has helped us to develop in ways that the players may not fully appreciate yet. When our team plays within our systems and commits to playing hard every shift, we can compete against any Tier 2 team in this province. This has been one of the most enjoyable years for me as a head coach because of the personal growth within each player and the contributions each has made to our team.”
Game 2 of the finals is set for Saturday March 2 at Bear Mountain Arena with game 3 back home in Campbell River on March 3.