Bantam A Tyees captain Cody Savey mops up a rebound while goaltender Antoine Minfray and defender Bryce Narhi keep an eye on the play. Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror
The KLP Construction Bantam A Tyees began their league play last week with a pair of home games at Strathcona Gardens.
The first league game was a Halloween encounter against the Saanich Braves. Just seven minutes into the game Noah Fladager and Brendan Almer set up River Fahey to open the scoring for the Tyees. Less than a minute later, Logan Chapdelaine and Matthew Ubriaco earned helpers on an Owen Parker goal to double their advantage. The Tyees made it a 3 – 0 lead when Bryce Narhi and Jory Swanson assisted on a goal by Noah Fladager. The Braves were able to put their first, and only, puck past Campbell River goaltender Jayce Hudak half way through the second period of the game.
However, strong play from the Tyees coupled with two late second period goals by Cody Savey propelled the home team to a convincing 5-1 victory.
The Tyees second league game was a spirited affair against the Nanaimo Clippers.
Going into this game, Campbell River and Nanaimo had already faced one another during three exhibition games that had each team even at one win, one loss, and most recently, one tie. Competitive games and increasing familiarity over recent weeks had players and coaches from both squads sensing that a rivalry was beginning to heat up.
The teams’ fourth encounter last Sunday, resulted in a combined 55 minutes in penalties with many in attendance at Rod Brind’Amour Arena witnessing a rivalry reach its boiling point. The Clippers opened the scoring late in the first and then took a two goal lead just minutes into the second period.
Tyees forward Davis Frank got Campbell River on the board half way through the middle stanza, and Almer let go a long wrist shot from the blue line that found the top corner of the net to tie the game. Six minutes into the final period, the Clippers took their second lead, but the lead switched hands again when the Tyees responded late in the game with goals by Fladager and Riley Billy respectively.
What turned out to be a thrilling game ended with some controversy when the Clippers appeared to score the tying goal on goalie Antoine Minfray in the final seconds of the game.
However, to the chagrin of the Nanaimo fan base in attendance, the goal was disallowed due to an inadvertent whistle being blown by the referee after he lost sight of the puck.
With the Tyees league play now at 2-0, the Tyees will practice hard this week before heading to the Interior to compete in a Penticton tournament this weekend.