North Island Eagles bantam bantam goalie Nigel Walkus uses his blocker to steer aside a shot during the team's Vancouver Island Hockey League game against Oceanside at Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice Saturday.

Bantams rally to tie — twice

Bantams hold Oceanside with bizarre finish in Port Alice.

PORT ALICE—First, the North Island Eagles bantams came from behind to tie the Oceanside Generals during their hockey game at Doug Bondue Arena.

Then they did it again after the game was finished.

In one of the more bizarre finishes in Vancouver Island Hockey League play, the visiting Generals appeared to snap a late-game tie and take a 3-2 lead on Gabe Dodd’s goal with two minutes, 37 seconds remaining on the game clock.

But the teams’ allotted ice time — on the arena clock — had expired before the apparent winning shot and referees Gavin Texmo and Clint Fiske ruled the game a 2-2 tie.

“The kids were a lot happier (in the change room) when they heard that,” Eagles coach Mike Bell said.

With the Eagles midget team waiting in the wings to take the ice against Kerry Park, the bantam game was scheduled to end at 3:43 p.m. But a series of penalties and other stoppages caused the bantam contest to run long. Shortly after Dodd’s presumptive goal at 3:44 p.m., the referees were alerted to the situation and stopped the game with 2:24 still left on the game clock.

Before the late-game confusion, the Eagles continued an early season trend of slow starts, falling behind 2-0 in the opening period before rallying to tie the game on a rebound goal by Tanner Roberts at 15:33 of the third.

“That is our downfall,” said Bell. “We need to play the full 55 minutes.”

Only the play of goalie Nigel Walkus allowed the bantams to stay within striking range for the comeback to follow.

“That was outstanding,” said Bell. “It wasn’t even the amount (of shots); it was the quality scoring chances.”

To put Walkus’ performance in perspective, Oceanside came into the contest with a 3-0 record and totaled 24 goals in those three wins.

“It was boring,” the soft-spoken Walkus said. “I’m just kidding; it was fun. Entertaining.”

Josh Borg got the Eagles’ rally started early in the second period, converting during a general scrum in front of the Oceanside net with a shot that hit goalie Cameron Wilk’s pads before trickling across the goal line.

Late in the third, the Eagles’ Devin White shoveled a pass to Borg, who led a 3-on-1 charge before taking a shot from the slot. Tanner Roberts pounced on the rebound for an easy put-back at the right post.

 

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