his past Saturday, the Jiffy Lube Tier 1 Bantam Chiefs were in Peninsula to take on the Eagles in the first placement game of the minor hockey season for both teams.
From the opening shift, the Chiefs outworked their opponents on their way to a convincing 8-1 win. The line of Ty Henderson, Zach Roach and Matthew Perry set the tone early with gritty, physical play, but Peninsula opened the scoring on a delayed penalty call midway through the first. Mack Christenson tied the game minutes later after some hard work by linemates Caleb Doleman and James Garrett. The period ended in a 1-1 tie despite the Chiefs holding a distinct territorial advantage.
Early in the second, the Chiefs tallied two goals in less than a minute, highlighted by a great point shot by Logan Cursley for his first of the year. The Chiefs battled through some penalty trouble in the second period and took their 3-1 lead into the third.
The Chiefs grinding style of play began to show some results in the third as they dominated the final period, adding five unanswered goals.
After starting the period shorthanded, Kolby Antonelli added a power play goal as a result of good puck movement by Ben Alexander, Andre Sutter, and Keenan Toal. Antonelli’s defence partner, Beckham Willis, added a tally of his own a few minutes later to blow the game wide open.
Ben Alexander scored shorthanded to go with Christenson’s second of the game. Doleman finished the scoring with a power-play goal late in the game.
According to head coach Sean Toal, strong play by the defence was the key to the team’s success: “I thought our d-men really did a good job of controlling gaps and winning their battles.
“The pairing of Anton Cecic and Matt Gambacorta played a strong game, and Ryan Novacosky probably had his best effort to date. Of course, it helps when our goaltender, Blayre Paddock, plays so well positionally. She wasn’t tested often but made the saves she had to.”
This weekend the Chiefs are in Parksville to take on Oceanside on Saturday and host Powell River on Sunday in a 3 p.m. start at the Sports Centre.
– Jiffy Lube Bantam Chiefs