The Panago Midget Tyees were back in action after the Christmas break, and started the New Year celebration early with a dominant performance against an out-gunned Oceanside squad.
In winning 7-2 the Tyees saw their offense return, largely with a return to form of talisman Travis Goodwin, who seems to make the entire team around him better.
The champagne glass is half full, with the return of the offence, including a rare power-play goal, and an evening to remember for first year Bantam call-up Jaylin Price.
Price, playing with Goodwin and Tyler Dickson, scored once and assisted on three others, managing the pace and physicality of midget hockey without difficulty.
Missing a number of regulars including prominent veteran Jake McKenzie, the Tyees dressed Price, Nick Ordano, Damien Rennie and Jacob Hartley who all filled in admirably. Goodwin finished with 3 goals and one official assist, while Tyson Goebel was flying, scoring twice.
Hartley scored, Ordano had an assist, and Dickson had three assists. Matt Barker set up another goal, heating up at the right time while Liam Rivett had a strong game on defence, adding an assist.
The glass, however, is half empty. Nic Kirshner was too busy, for one thing. Further, while you will never hear the players “wine”, there are inevitable frustrations over ice-time, and the exhibition game was an opportunity to spread the love around and reward players who have been sitting, and to build chemistry and confidence.
Instead, extra call-ups were made, and the forward lines were irregular. The power play needed work, and while there were players missing, personnel decisions did not fully support development.
There was inevitability to the scrambling as only regular defensive coach Joel Wheeldon was able to attend and had to run the bench alone; but while perhaps unavoidable, it feels like an opportunity lost.
With some spilled champagne and a great experience for some young Tyees, the team moves on to a major tournament in Kamloops in early January.
The product continues to mature, and while all kinds of weather occur in a year, you never rate it until you uncork the bottle.