The Courtenay Mazda Peewee Chiefs were busy this past weekend hosting an eight-team tournament made up of competitors from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
The Chiefs started round-robin play in Pool A on Friday evening with a tight 2-1 win over Burnaby. The Chiefs got out to an early 2-1 lead and played well defensively for the remainder of the game to hold off the Burnaby squad. Goaltender Avery Kampen posted the victory, with goals coming from Kayden Richards and Boone Trickett.
A 6:30 a.m. game against Oceanside on Saturday saw the boys get off to a slower start. Falling behind 2-0 by the mid-game ice-clean, the Chiefs roared back in the third to get a 2-2 tie, with the game-tying goal coming off a post-and-in slap shot from defenceman Matt Garrett.
The Chiefs returned to the ice at 1:15 p.m. for their final round-robin match against Saanich. The Chiefs were very much in the game through the first two periods, trailing 2-1 against a strong Saanich squad. However, a brief period of “slow legs” in third period allowed Saanich to increase its lead and hold on for a 4-1 victory.
With a win, loss and tie in round-robin play, the Chiefs had the same number of points as Oceanside, however, the Chiefs were relegated to third place in the pool by the slimmest of margins due to a tie-breaker based on goals/for and against.
While eliminated from the playoffs, the Chiefs had a final game against the third-place team from the other pool on Sunday morning, the Cowichan Capitals. The Chiefs had a difficult first period against the fast-skating Capitals, and trailed 4-1 at the mid-game ice clean.
However, in the second half, the boys rallied and had numerous scoring chances from all three lines due to good puck movement and a hard forecheck that created Cowichan turnovers. The Chiefs closed the gap but were unable to complete the comeback, falling 5-3.
The Vancouver Thunderbirds went undefeated and took first place in the tournament, with a 4-3 win over a scrappy Powell River squad Sunday afternoon.
Overall the Chiefs had a successful tournament on and off the ice, thanks in large part to the parent volunteers and individuals and companies that helped sponsor the event.
The team raised enough money to cover entry costs for other out-of-town tournaments they will be playing in as well as helping to cover some travel costs and ice rental for additional practice time. Thanks to everyone for their support.
The Chiefs next home game is a league game against Oceanside on Nov. 16 at 3:15 p.m. at Sports Centre 1. – Courtenay Mazda PeeWee Chiefs