The North Island Eagles rep hockey program’s last hope for a provincial tournament qualifier ended Saturday when the Eagles bantams dropped an 8-1 decision at top-seeded Powell River in the Vancouver Island Tier 3 playoffs.
The loss gave Powell River the Island’s lone berth into the Mar. 18-23 provincial championships in Burnaby and ended a surprising late-season run by the North Islanders.
After going 0-10 in Division 2 league play the Eagles notched a road playoff win over Campbell River to place second in the Vancouver Island-North playoff.
They then shocked the No. 1 seed on the South Island, Kerry Park, with another road win that lifted them into the best-of 3 finals series against Powell River.
But the Kings proved to be an insurmountable obstacle this season. Powell River swept the teams’ regular-season series, then beat the Eagles three straight times in the playoffs.
The 8-1 finale mirrored the score in the first meeting of the season in Powell River, though the Eagles put up a much stronger fight in the other three meetings, falling 1-0 in Port Alice and leading the Kings 2-1 midway through both of the next two games before running out of steam.
Eagles Atoms 9, Comox 5
Jackson Cole scored a hat trick and the Eagles dominated defensively in an exhibition victory Saturday in Comox, setting up this weekend’s Atom Development Division 4 championship rematch with the Chiefs in Comox.
“As the coach, it was one of the most gratifying games to watch this year,” Eagles coach Marty Gage said.
“I believe in a defence-first approach to the game, and our defence is definitely one of our strong points.”
Gage was also pleased to see scoring across the lineup, with the team’s third line scoring five of the nine goals and the second line contributing a pair.
He also noted strong games from defenseman Mandy Foldy and forward Carson Strang, particularly with his back-checking work.
Avary Miller picked up the win in goal while contributing some key saves for the atoms.