After jumping to an early lead over the top-seeded team in their division, the North Island Eagles atom development squad bowed out of the playoffs with a 4-3 overtime loss to Peninsula in the Division 4 semifinals Saturday.
The Eagles, the fourth-place team in the division in regular-season play, jumped to leads of 2-0 and 3-1 and seemed intent on an upset of the favourites.
But Peninsula clawed back to tie the game late in the third period and punched home the winning goal after the Eagles hit one crossbar and missed on a breakaway opportunity.
“We have the best team in our league a serious run for their money and very easily could have come out on top,” atom coach Marty Gage said. “If you’re going to lose, it might as well be to the best team, in OT.
“Having said that, it makes it hard to take.”
The loss wrapped up league play for the atom development squad. The team will now go on and finish its season at a tournament in Victoria Mar. 23-25.
“This experience as a hockey coach has made me grateful to be involved with a group of players, families and coaches that came together and grew into a real good team,” said Gage.