It may have come a year late but the Number 1 Auto Body Bantam A Tyees had an Olympic experience recently they will not soon forget.
With no league game scheduled last weekend the Tyees embarked on a mini-tour of the Lower Mainland, playing a trio of exhibition games against some stiff competition.
The highlight of the trip was a 1-0 victory over the Tier 1 Richmond Blues in a game played at the spectacular Olympic Oval Complex in Richmond.
The $178 million facility was the venue for the 2010 Olympic speed skating events.
It has since been converted to a multi-use sports centre that includes two ice rinks, up to eight hardwood courts, a gymnasium, a 200-metre track, and a high performance training complex for elite athletes.
Tyee goaltender Nick Kirchner recorded the shutout for Campbell River and was all smiles after the game.
“I haven’t had a shutout since second year peewee so it was a long time coming,” he said.
“It feels great.”
Cole Rennie scored the lone goal of the contest with just over six minutes remaining in the third period, shoveling in a rebound after a scramble in front.
There was one other highlight of note from the Oval.
The players agreed it is the only time they have had to take a glass elevator from their dressing room to the rink.
The Tyees then travelled to the Sun God Arena and came from behind to beat the Tier 1 North Delta Sun Devils 3-2.
Captain Gavin Rauser tipped in a Joe Gage point shot midway through the third period to tie the score and then set up Grady McInnes for the game winner with seven minutes to go.
The only loss of the trip was a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Semiahmoo Ravens.
Rauser notched a short-handed marker while Kurtis Scriba and Sage Lim added singles.
It was a costly weekend, however, as the Tyees lost high scoring forward Travis Goodwin, who suffered a fractured tibia after sliding into the boards awkwardly in the game against Richmond.
The team learned just last week that defenceman and assistant captain Bryce Eppler must undergo knee surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
The Tyees play a pair of important league games this weekend.
The high-flying Victoria Racquet Club Kings will be in town for a game Saturday afternoon.
The opening faceoff is set for 3:15 p.m. at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
On Sunday the Tyees travel to Port Alberni for a meeting with the Bulldogs.