The Campbell River Booster Juice Bantam B Ravens hosted the Saanich Tigers in a tiering game on Saturday, April 27.
The first home game of the season allowed more friends and family a chance to see how the team is starting to gain an appreciation of the fact that continuous effort pays huge dividends.
The first period Saturday started with both goalies playing well. Saanich’s goalie had the heavier workload but Ravens goalie Will McLean also made a couple of nice saves to keep it scoreless half-way through the period. Raven Zach Lontayao saw Quinn Pedersen make a cut and fired the pass to the top of the crease. Pedersen lit the red goal light giving the Ravens a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
The Ravens started the second period with great ball movement and some well-timed picks in the defensive and offensive zones. Bryce Turko fed a wide-open Lukas Lund near the goal. Lund shifted and wired a shot past the Saanich goalie to extend the lead; 2-0. Shortly after that, Gavin Hope put a shot on net. The Saanich goalie made the save but the rebound came directly to Lontayao who put the ball over the goalie’s shoulder for a goal. Mason Osterhout-Code is becoming a dominant force at both ends of the floor. While he was picking up the loose ball, both Saanich players were picking themselves up from the concrete floor. Osterhout-Code took the ball in on net and scored.
Shortly after that, Ross Rickman made the check of the night. The Saanich ball-carrier was at least four inches taller than Rickman and probably more than twice Rickman’s weight. Rickman used perfect technique to “angle” the Saanich player into the Ravens corner. He then controlled the Saanich player and pinned him along the boards. He stayed engaged on his check until the 30 second shot clock went off. It was truly an unselfish play.
It reminds us that it’s not the size of the Raven in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the Raven. Lontayao was in the right spot for another rebound as he scored to make it 4-0. Nolan Fair got the ball to Turko while short-handed and he made no mistake to extend the lead. Ravens led 5-0 at the end of the second period.
The third period saw a bit of everything. Turko scored on a behind-the-head shot and Raven Nolan Fair also scored, followed by additional goals from Reilly Doney and Pedersen. Fittingly, Rickman had the final check of the game and again did not allow the Saanich player to get the ball on net in the last 25 seconds of the game to preserve the shutout as the Ravens won 9-0.
On Sunday, April 28, Nick Kool and Kari Martynyk were called up from the Bantam C team as the Bantam B team hosted the Nanaimo Timbermen. Both adapted very well and contributed at both ends of the floor. The Ravens started applying pressure on the Timbermen from the opening face-off as they flew down the floor on the attack and on the back-check. Their sustained and concerted effort paid off as they started to fill the back of the Timbermen’s net. The Ravens went on to a decisive 12-1 win.
The Bantam B Ravens play Port Alberni at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the last of six tiering games. Expectations are for the Ravens to be shifted into the A division.