The Campbell River Midget A Tyees have hit the ice for the 2016/17 season.
Tryouts are still in progress but the team is starting to take shape. The Midget A Tyees and Campbell River Minor Hockey welcome coaches Jim MacLean and Bill Humphreys to the fold. They are supported by assistant coaches Stewart Lee and Joel Wheeldon.
The Tyees opened the exhibition season on Saturday, Sept. 10 with a victory on the other side of the Hump against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs then followed that with a win at home Sunday, Sept. 11 against Comox Valley.
With a few more practices under their belts and a few extra dollars in the team kitty, thanks to a very generously supported bottle drive, they headed south to Fuller Lake on Sunday, Sept. 18 to play Cowichan Valley Capitals. Antoine Minfray started between the pipes for the Tyees and kept the Capitals off the scoresheet with some help from solid team defence.
Tyler Dickson opened the scoring with the man advantage, assisted by Seth Parker. Unfortunately, the Capitals made the most of a man advantage to tie it at one before the end of the first period.
About five minutes into the second period, Clinton Nelson fed a beauty pass to Ethan Mainprize that sprung him for a breakaway. Mainprize made no mistake, rippling the twine and putting the Tyees ahead 2-1.
The team had a great penalty kill and Minfray made a heck of a save to deny a Capital breakaway attempt just before the mid-game flood.
Carson Borgfjord came on in relief and was soon tested by the Capitals. The Tyees tightened up a bit but not enough as the Capitals put a pair of goals up on the board in less than a minute to take a 3-2 lead at the end of the second period.
Like all Tyees, the team kept working hard; taking a few solid hits and dishing out many of their own. Their focus paid off when Nic Ordano, assisted by Dickson, turned on the red light to tie the game at 3 earlier in the third.
Unfortunately, the Capitals were able to get one more on the board before time expired to win the game 4-3.
Many spectators thought that the Tyees were unfortunate to not come away with at least a tie let alone a W but it was not to be on this day. Coaches were overheard to say that there were a lot of positives to build on from this game.
The team generally had good breakouts as the players are grasping the systems that have been introduced.
Although there were some questionable penalties, the Capitals led the parade to the sin bin with 20 minutes in penalties compared to the Tyees’ 18 minutes. Players are making good changes and seem to be supporting the puck most of the time.
This is the start of a season-long marathon and they’ve had to absorb a fair amount of new material in a short time.
The Midget A Tyees will be making another trek over the Hump on Sat Sept 24 for a rematch with the Bulldogs to start the tiering games before hosting Saanich at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25 in the friendly confines of Rod Brind’Amour arena.