Bantams tourney run ends at semifinals

Rep Eagles roll to top spot in pool play before bowing out of Comox Holiday Tournament

The North Island Eagles bantam rep hockey team rolled to the top spot in its pool, but failed to reach the championship final of the Comox Holiday Tourament with a 7-2 loss to Sooke in semifinal play last Thursday.

Playing with only nine skaters, the bantams opened tourney play Dec. 27 with a 6-3 loss to host Comox.

However, the Eagles bounced back impressively, posting back-to-back shutout wins of 4-0 over a visiting Seattle team and 8-0 over Nanaimo.

That pushed the bantams to the top of the pool A standings, but they struggled in the elimination loss to Sooke to finish the playoff round.

Riley Heemels had a goal and an assist in the semifinal. Matt Lingl also scored, and Darryl Coon added an assist.

Coon punched home two goals in the opening-round loss to Comox. Tyren Dustin, a former Eagles peewee skating as an affiliate player from Port McNeill Minor Hockey last week, also scored. Lingl had two assists and Heemels and Alexander Stavrakov added helpers in the loss. Shae Simpson manned the goal for the bantams.

Coon added two more goals in Wednesday’s blanking of Seattle, and Heemels and Brandon Purdey also found the net. Stavrakov contributed a pair of assists, with singles going to Thomas Symons and Alex Scott.

Coon, a defenseman, capped a big scoring week with a hat trick and two assists in the romp over Nanaimo and fellow blueliner Brodie Wilson, a traditional stay-at-home defender, added a rare goal to go with two assists.

Dustin finished with two goals and Heemels and Symons scored once each. Stavrakov, Lingl and Dustin each had assists as well.

The bantams return to the road this weekend for a league doubleheader, with games Saturday at Saanich and Sunday at Peninsula. Their next home contest comes Saturday, Jan. 14 when they host Powell River in Port Alice.