The Strathcona Toyota Midget Tyees are the Tier 2 Island champions and are moving on to Prince George to battle for the provincial title.

The Strathcona Toyota Midget Tyees are the Tier 2 Island champions and are moving on to Prince George to battle for the provincial title.

Midget Tyees target provincial title

Tyees: Second-ever midget team to qualify

With the Island title in their back pocket the Strathcona Toyota Midget Tyees have set their sights on the provincial championships in Prince George.

The Nanaimo Clippers were the only team standing in their way of a berth in the provincial championships when the two teams lined up Feb. 20. The Tyees and Clippers have faced each other a number of times this season and all the games have been very close and particularly intense.

The Island final is a best-of-three-game affair, with Campbell River owning home ice advantage. Game 1 Feb. 20 started with the Tyees looked a little nervous in front of a large and raucous crowd, at the Brindy. The Clippers looked much more comfortable and confident to start the game and before the Tyees knew it the first period was over and the Clippers had a 2-0 lead. The Tyees were a different team in the second period, erasing the lead with goals by Braydon Kratzmann, Owen Boyd and Jacob Hartley. As we have come to expect, this Nanaimo team refused to give in and battled back to take the lead 4-3. Nick Ordano brought the fans to their feet, halfway through the third as he tapped in a juicy rebound to tie the game. The last 10 minutes was wild and entertaining. Aided by a couple late power plays the Clippers would send the fans home unhappy, as they skated to a 6-4 win.

Game 2 of the Island Finals was the following day at the Nanaimo Ice Center. The Clippers packed their stands with supporters, all hoping for a sweep for the harbour city squad. The tyees on the other hand, were determined to send this series to a third and final match. From the drop of the first puck the Campbell River boys were on their game. Braydon Kratzmann opened the scoring, ripping a shot top corner off a turnover. Lukas Lund added 2 goals of his own, both assisted by Owen Boyd. Tyler Dickson extended the Tyee lead to 4 late in the first.

The Tyees continued the onslaught in the second period, Liam Rivett snipped one past the Nanaimo keeper on the power play, assisted by Dalton Marchand. The Clippers attempted to mount a comeback but every time they were able get through the Tyee defence, goalie Dominic Bellefleur thwarted their efforts.

A strong commitment to team defence in the third period, and goals from Kaleb Beattie and Sage Lim. Guaranteed that we would be seeing this great series continue back in Campbell River. The Tyees had a renewed optimism as they traveled home, savoring the 7-0 win.

Game 3 was scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Strathcona Gardens. As the fans entered the building, a noticeable buzz was in the air, and the word was certainly out about the big game. The largest crowd that we have ever seen for a minor hockey game was sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

The hometowns Tyees were clearly energized by the massive pro Tyee crowd. Jacob Hartley brought the fans to their feet early in the first when took a pass from Matt Barker and picked the corner behind the Nanaimo keeper. Seth parker increased the lead to 2 late in the first, assists going to Lukas Lund and Owen Boyd.

The ice seemed to be tilted for most of the game, the home team playing a determined brand of hockey. Nanaimo closed the gap to 1 in the second, and was looking to tie the game on the powerplay, but an amazing shift resulted in a short-handed goal by Kaleb Beattie, restoring the lead to 2. The third period saw the Tyees play a smart and focused game. The Clippers just couldn’t get any room to skate and were allowing their frustrations to take over.  Lukas Lund would put the nail in the Clipper coffin, teaming up with Sage Lim to stretch the score to 4-1.

Head Coach Brent Cross said, “I’m very proud of this group, this is only the second midget team from Campbell River to qualify for provincials. The boys have really come together as a team and believe in one another. Now we need to shift our focus on playing well in Prince George, the way were playing, I like our chances.”

 

Midget Tier 2 Provincial Championship; March 14-17

  • Host: Prince George
  • Lower Mainland Team 1: Aldergrove
  • Lower Mainland Team 2: Mission
  • North Central: Williams Lake
  • North East: Fort St John
  • Okanagan Team 1: Greater Vernon
  • Vancouver Island: CAMPBELL RIVER
  • West Kootenay: Castlegar

Bantam Tier 2 Provincial Championship; March 13-16

  • Host: Salmon Arm
  • East Kootenay: Cranbrook
  • Lower Mainland Team 1: Port Moody
  • Lower Mainland Team 2: Burnaby Winter Club
  • North Central: Williams Lake
  • North East: Fort St John
  • Okanagan Team 1: Greater Vernon
  • Vancouver Island: CAMPBELL RIVER
  • West Kootenay: Trail

 

Campbell River Mirror