The Campbell River Booster Juice Bantam A Tyees started their playoff season with a pair of home games on the weekend.
On Saturday, they hosted Nanaimo A2 Clippers at the friendly confines of Rod Brind’Amour arena.
Carson Borgfjord started between the pipes for the Tyees in the North Zone round-robin game. The Tyees started on a fast pace and kept the Clippers on the defensive side of the puck.
On the power play, Doug Campbell moved the puck to Lukas Lund with a nice pass. Lund took it in flight, crossed the blue-line and stepped into a howitzer that the Clipper goalie never saw; first shot on net makes 1-0 for the Tyees.
Later, Matthew Leard worked the puck over to Jaxon Ward and he snapped it over the Clipper’s goalie glove, bar-down; 2-0. Nanaimo changed goalies but the Tyees kept the pressure on. Back on the power-play, Ward fed Campbell at the point. He launched a rocket on the Clipper goal with the rebound landing right in front of Damian Rennie. He pounced on it like a puma and it was 3-0 for the Tyees at the end of the first period.
When play resumed in the second, the Tyees were guilty of losing focus and not really supporting each other or the puck. A giveaway by a forward who was covering for a defenceman resulted in a Clipper finding the top corner over Borgfjord’s blocker for their first goal. They would get another before the mid-game flood to make it 3-2 for the Tyees.
The Tyees resumed skating on the clean ice. Jacob Hartley made a great pass from behind the Nanaimo goal to Rennie in the low slot for his second of the game and a 4-2 Tyee lead. Nanaimo almost had a buzzer-beater but Borgfjord slammed the door as time expired in the second period.
As the Tyees were forechecking, Olivia Knowles held the line and fired the puck around the boards. Will McLean got it it and took a high hit while making a pass to Lund. Lund put it where Mom keeps the peanut butter to make it 5-2 Tyees.
Back on the power-play, Liam Rivett passed ahead to Lund as he was gathering momentum in the neutral zone. In one of the sickest displays of stick-handling, Lund took it in on net and literally undressed the Clippers before almost apologetically allowing the puck to slide into the empty Clipper goal; 6-2 Tyees on Lund’s hat-trick goal.
Shortly after play resumed, the Tyees’ Nic Ordano was caught off-balance by a Clipper while forechecking and broke his leg.
The Tyees have two fathers who are firefighters and one who is a medical doctor. All were present and immediately attended Ordano until the paramedics arrived.
Due to the time constraints, play ended with 7:54 remaining in the third period and the score 6-2 for the Tyees.
Up next: Oceanside Generals
On Sunday, the Tyees hung Ordano’s #2 jersey behind the bench as they hosted Oceanside Generals.
Dominik Bellefleur got the tap to start in net for the Tyees. Early in the first, the ice was slanted downhill into the Generals zone. Eventually, Bryce Turko put a bomb on net that the Oceanside goalie couldn’t handle cleanly. The puck sat in the crease, allowing Tyler Dickson to take it behind the net and come out the other side for a classic wrap-around goal; 1-0 for the Tyees at the end of the first period.
While short-handed in the second period, Ward kept his head up and fed Lund in front of the net. He put the red light on making it 2-0. The Generals tried to come back but Bellefleur denied a partial breakaway attempt. That led directly to a Tyee counter-attack as Campbell head-manned the puck to Ward. He used his speed and strength to bury it, extending the Tyees lead to 3-0 at mid-game flood.
When play resumed, the Generals showed a little rest and fluids can work wonders as they used a power-play to score a tap-in on the open-side with a backdoor play.
They narrowed the gap to 3-2 before the end of the second period. With two Generals in the sin bin, Hartley fed Campbell at the point and his howitzer was just inside the post; 4-2 Tyees. Later, Rennie took the puck wide, protected it and got a shot on goal. Rivett hammered the rebound home making the final score 5-2 for the Tyees.
The Booster Juice Bantam A Tyees will now take their 2-0 North Zone round-robin record to Powell River for their final first round game on Sat Feb 8.