The No. 1 Auto Body Bantam ‘A’ Tyees made their first game of 2012 one to remember.
Trailing 4-2 in the third period, Campbell River exploded with seven unanswered goals enroute to a 9-4 victory over the beleaguered Port Alberni Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
Captain Gavin Rauser ignited the comeback, scoring on a wrist shot from the slot with just under twelve minutes remaining.
Rookie defenceman Brendan Hoff then took the spotlight, setting up Cole Rennie for the tying goal and then blasting home the eventual game winner two minutes later.
Rauser and Josh Coblenz led the way with two goals apiece. Austin Simper, Darian Swift, and Kurtis Scriba rounded out the scoring. Grady McInnes contributed four assists, while defencemen Andy Stevens and Nick Klein-Beekman each had a pair.
The victory completed a two game sweep for the Tyees, who bombed the Bulldogs 9-1 three weeks ago in Port Alberni.
“We anticipated Port Alberni would give us a better game today and they did,” said Tyees head coach Peter Martin,
“Injuries and other circumstances gave us the opportunity to call up four players from the B team and they all had strong games for us, most notably Brendan Hoff.”
The Tyees were without five regulars including defencemen Devyn Grant, Bryce Eppler and Joe Gage, along with forwards Tyson Goebel and Travis Goodwin.
All the changes may have contributed to a sluggish start and forced Martin to do some line juggling that paid off in the final frame.
“We switched Coblenz and Scriba in the third and Josh tipped in a point shot for one goal and Kurtis scored a nice one a few minutes later,” he said, “We (the coaches) were pleased with the effort and give the boys credit for sticking with it, even when we fell behind.”
After an 0-3 start, the Tyees have now won five of their past six league games and are above the .500 mark for the first time this season with a record of five wins and four losses.
They play their final VIAHA regular season game this weekend in Victoria against the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies.
Game time is 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Bear Mountain Arena.