Bantams keep it tight on the road

Eagles take a 4-3 loss and tie on the road during two games in placement play.

For the second time in a week, a late goal by an opponent left the North Island Eagles bantam hockey team with a tie in Vancouver Island Hockey League placement play.

The Eagles settled for a 5-5 draw with Peninsula Sunday when the host squad notched the tying goal with 3:02 left to play. Back-to-back goals by Nathan Sandeman and David Charlie late in the second period had staked the Eagles to a 5-4 lead in the see-saw game before Peninsula scored the only goal of the third period.

The contest wrapped up a two-game road trip to the South Island by the bantams, who opened play Saturday with a 4-3 loss at Victoria Racquet Club. Sandeman, Charlie and Sean Pineda scored for the Eagles, who took a 1-0 lead into the third period before the teams erupted for a combined six goals in the third.

Jake Grinnell, Tanner Roberts and Kenton Browne had assists in the loss. Nyck Ruel started in goal for the bantams in Victoria.

Sunday at Peninsula, consecutive first-period goals by Browne gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead, but the hosts scored three straight across the first and second periods to jump in front. Roberts struck midway through the period to knot the game at 3-all, but Peninsula went back in front 4-3 on a score at 12:27 of the second.

Sandeman, Grinnell, Mercedes Trevor and Cameron Grant had assists. Nigel Walkus got his first start as a goalie with the rep program.

The bantams return home for the final two games of tiering play in Port McNeill this weekend, hosting Cowichan Valley at 4 p.m. Saturday at Chilton Regional Arena and returning Sunday to host Comox at 11:15 a.m.

The atom development squad will play its season home opener Saturday in Port McNeill, hosting Powell River at 1:45 p.m.