Peewee Tyees in must-win situation

The KLP Construction Peewee A Tyees have advanced to the playoff semi-finals, finishing first in their division

The KLP Construction Peewee A Tyees have advanced to the playoff semi-finals, finishing first in their division.

The Tyees faced the Bull Dogs in Port Alberni last Sunday in their second game of the playoffs.  Previous games against Alberni Valley were very high-spirited events and this one did not disappoint in the least.

Both teams were anxious to get on the scoreboard first.

Tyee goalie Nic Ordano stymied the opposing snipers using everything and anything to stop the puck.  The Tyees kept pressure on Alberni but were thwarted by a goalie that was “in the zone” and owning the crease.

The Bull Dogs managed to score the game’s first goal while on the power play with about a minute and a half left in the first period.  The Tyees did them one better. Will McLean and Todd Campbell set up Tyler Dickson for a Tyee power play goal with only 0.3 seconds on the clock.

Both teams again settled in for the marathon this game became.  Each rush up the ice was met with fierce resistance with players on both teams back-checking tenaciously and keeping their shifts short.

Alberni Valley scored again for a 2-1 lead as the teams went to the dressing room for the mid-game ice cleaning.  Once play resumed, Dickson scored his second goal of the game, unassisted, to tie it at two.  Unfortunately Tyee defenceman Greg Hay had to leave the game after blocking an Alberni slapshot.

Head Coach Marc Ouellette brought Dawson Frank back onto defence and re-balanced the forward lines.  The score remained 2-2 at the end of the second period.

Deuces were certainly wild and the third period reflected it. Campbell got his groove back and proved it by putting the biscuit in the basket early in the third to give the Tyees the lead, 3-2.

Both teams were struggling to find room in the neutral zone.  Some fans thought the pucks were made of gold given the way both teams were battling for them along the boards.

Damien Rennie connected with Jacob Hartley and Hartley finished the heavy lifting to put the Tyees ahead 4-2 midway through the third.

That’s when things really got interesting as goals came fast and furious.

Less than a minute after the Tyees went ahead by two, Alberni Valley came back with one of their own to narrow the margin to 4-3 and within another minute, the Bull Dogs pulled even with the Tyees at 4-4 while shorthanded.

In classic “anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better” fashion, the Tyees tightened their chinstraps and rose to the challenge Alberni Valley had put before them.

Still on the power play, Campbell got the puck to Frank who passed it to Olivia Knowles.  Knowles launched a rocket on net that the goalie didn’t even see as it went by him to put the Tyees ahead 5-4.  After stretches of more than eighteen minutes without a goal, both teams had combined for four goals in just over two minutes of play.

Once again, Alberni Valley wouldn’t quit and was rewarded with an even-strength goal to tie the score at 5.  Less than a minute later, Rennie got the puck to Lukas Lund in a prime scoring position.

Lund wired a wrist shot top shelf and put the Tyees back in front 6-5 with about five minutes left to play in the third period.

The action became even faster and more frantic as Alberni  pulled out all the stops to score the equalizer.

The Tyee defence, led by Doug Campbell, Frank, Knowles and Rivett kept the shooting lanes open for Ordano and he didn’t make any mistakes on his angles or positioning.  Alberni pulled its goalie for the extra attacker but to no avail and the Tyees won 6-5.

With their second victory of the first round of playoffs, the KLP Construction Peewee A Tyees have earned first place in the North Island bracket of the Island Tier 2 playoffs.

That seeding means the Tyees will host Saanich at Rod Brind’Amour Arena this Saturday for a winner-takes-all-and-moves-on semi-final game.

Game starts at 2:30 p.m. and will include two full intermissions with ice cleaning instead of one ice cleaning midway through the second period.

Come on out, watch some great minor hockey and cheer on your Tyees.