Tournament bronze eludes Alberni peewee hockey team

The peewee A Bulldogs from Port Alberni missed a bronze medal in Fuller Lake by the skin of their teeth.

Wyatt Selva

Best Western Barclay Hotel Peewee A Bulldogs battled hard last week at the annual Island Peewee Tier 1 tournament at the Fuller Lake Arena in Duncan.

The peewee Bulldogs started out strong in the tough A division with an opening 5–3 victory over the Comox Valley Chiefs.

Comox was rewarded once on the scoreboard in the first period but Alberni came back with three unanswered goals to take a 3–1 lead into the third period. The Bulldogs scored again early in the period but ran into penalty trouble. They spent half of the final frame down a skater and allowing Comox to score twice late in the game before Shay-lee McConnell netted the clincher in the 5–3 win.

Bulldogs forward Wyatt Selva posted a goal and an assist and the player of the game award went to goalie Jaysen MacLean.

Alberni’s second game was a tight clash against Nanaimo A. Selva and Colton Lloyd each scored in the first to give the Bulldogs a jump on the Clippers. The lead was narrowed to one in the second but Connor Sabiston widened the gap again with Alberni’s third goal of the game to put the Bulldogs up 3–1.

Nanaimo scored twice in the third period to tie it 3–3 and heighten the tension before defenseman Brennan Locke scored the fourth and game winning goal for the peewee bulldogs with just minutes left. The player of the game for Alberni was captain Nico Somerville.

The team’s third outing was a 9–4 loss to the strong Cowichan Capitals. Assistant captain Shay-lee McConnell was named player of the game.

Alberni’s 2–1 round robin record gave them a second place ranking in their pool and they went up against the Saanich Braves in the semi-final. Alberni faced an uphill fight after a slow start in the first, finding themselves down 3–0. Both teams scored once in the second before the Bulldogs tore up the ice in the third, with Selva, Lloyd and Jayden Moss scoring three unanswered goals to tie the game with 13 minutes left on the clock.

Saanich scored again and held on to the 5–4 lead before Connor Sabiston buried a rebound with a minute left to force overtime.

The Braves took full advantage of a breakaway and scored halfway through the overtime period to win 6–5 and send Alberni to the bronze medal game.

Assistant captain Ezra Paddock was named player of the game.

In the bronze medal game against the Oceanside Generals, the Peewee A  Bulldogs again found themselves on the wrong side of a 2–0 score going into the third period and with five minutes remaining, were still down by two goals.

Alberni’s coaches pulled the goalie in favour of the extra attacker and with fans on edge of their seats, the Bulldogs patiently passed the puck, looking for the right opening. Tynan Smyth found that opening, scoring from the point to bring the game to within one.

Oceanside took a penalty late in the game and Alberni again pulled the goalie to take advantage of the 6-on-4 opportunity and were rewarded when Wyatt Selva scored with under a minute remaining to tie the game 2–2.

Alberni then took a penalty of their own and were unable to fend off a late 3-on-1 Oceanside rush as Parksville dug hard to find the back of the net just seconds before the final buzzer. They won 3–2 and captured the bronze medal.

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