North Island Atom Eagles win tournament

The North Island Atom Eagles headed down island and won their Christmas tournament

The North Island Eagles Atom Rep team competed in the Tier 3-4 Christmas Tournament, Dec. 19-21, in

Comox Valley at the Glacier Gardens Arena. There were eight Atom Rep teams from all over Vancouver Island

participating in the tournament. The Eagles first game was held on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 3 P.M. vs Juan De

Fuca. They ended up winning 9-3. The Eagle’s Zachary Spafford scored a hat trick and got an assist. The

Eagles second game took place Sunday, Dec. 20 at 6:45 A.M. vs Powell River. The Eagles won again, this

time 5-1. “This was a really big win for us because before the tournament we had played Powell River four

times ending in two ties and two losses. The kids were now pretty proud of themselves,” said Sonya Strang,

manager for the North Island Eagles Atom development.  The Eagles played their third Game on Sunday at

4:45 P.M. vs Campbell River. They continued their winning streak, taking the game 6-1. Tye Morash, a new

player to the Eagles’ team, scored a goal and got an assist. The Eagles fourth game was the semifinals on

Monday vs Nanaimo. It was a “very close game,” mentioned Strang, adding that “At the end of the first period

we were down 3-2. By the end of the second period we were up 7-5 and held the win for a score of 8-6.” The

Eagles Jack Barrett scored a hat trick and got an assist during the game. “He is a very talented first year

player,” said Strang. In the Eagles fifth and final game for first place, they had to play Powell River again. The

teams ended the first period 2-2. The Eagles managed to score a goal in the second period, making it 3-2. With

12 minutes left in the third period, the Eagles found themselves down 5-3, but “we came back to tie game,”

Strang added. The game went into a 10 minute, four on four overtime period. Neither team was able to put the

puck in the net, so they had a three person shootout, which means three people from each team got to shoot

on the goalie. After all six players took their shots, the game was still tied 5-5, so they went into a sudden death

shoot out where one person from each team got to shoot at a time.The first round was scoreless. The second

shooter up for the Eagles was Kai Verbrugge, a second year Atom rep player. Kai skated down, went wide on

the net, dropped his shoulder, faked, the goalie dropped, and he stuffed it in on the other side.The Eagles, now

up one goal, had to let the other team have their shot to tie the game. It was all up to the Eagle’s goalie Bryce

Walkus to stand tall and win the game, and luckily, “he had been outstanding all weekend,” Strang

said. Walkus made the save and the Eagles won 6-5 in a thrilling, sudden death shoot out victory. “The stands

erupted. Players were screaming, hugging, jumping up and down,” said Strang, adding that the “coaches are

extremely proud of the outstanding effort put on the ice by the whole team. They really feel that the team is

learning their individual rolls and how to put it all together as a team.”The North Island Eagles Atom Rep team’s

next home game is at 4:45 P.M., Jan. 16 in Port Hardy at the Don Cruickshank Memorial arena vs. Powell

River. Come on out and cheer on the Eagles.