The No. 1 Auto Body Bantam A Tyees rode the hot goaltending of Nick Kirchner and some timely scoring to a 6-1 victory over the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies Saturday afternoon at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria.
Tyee Grady McInnes tallied twice for Campbell River, with singles going to Gavin Rauser, Cole Rennie, Devyn Grant, and Austin Simper.
The game was much closer than the score indicates as the Tyees held a slim 2-1 lead until late in the second period. Kirchner managed to hold the fort until the offence got rolling, making a number of brilliant saves, especially during Juan de Fuca’s five power play opportunities.
“Nick was definitely the first star of the game today,” said Tyees assistant coach Jim Ross.
“We could have easily been down by two or three after the first period. We got off to a slow start and that’s when you need your goaltender to step up – he really came through for us.”
The Tyees, who have lost only once in their last seven league games, led 1-0 after the first period and 4-1 after two.
Coach Ross gave the unsung hero award to defenceman Tyson Dumont.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Ross said.
“He plays on the B (bantam rep) team but we’ve had so many injuries we’ve had to call him up a lot. He has a great work ethic and gives you everything he’s got – in practices and in games.”
Ross also praised Tyson’s father, Stewart Dumont, for the excellent work he has done as head coach of the Bantam B team this season.
“Stewart’s been a tremendous help to us. It’s been like a revolving door around here with all the injuries this year but he goes out of his way to accommodate us,” Ross said.
“Every player we’ve called up has stepped right in and played well for us.”
The Tyees are gradually getting healthy, but still have three regulars out of the lineup.
It was the final game of the regular season for both the Tyees and Grizzlies, and both finished with identical 6-4 records.
The two teams will likely meet again in the Island Tier 2 playoffs, which begin early next month.