North Island Eagles Joey Grant (5) lines up a shot during Tier 3 round-robin playoff action against Cowichan Valley while teammates Connor Van Will (8) and Chelsea Noel wait for the rebound in Port Hardy Sunday

Eagles peewees clinch top playoff seed

PORT HARDY-Last-minute tie with Cowichan Valley earns Tier 3 squad semifinal matchup in Port Alice this Sunday at 1:45 p.m.

With just 9.5 seconds left on the clock, the North Island Eagles Peewee team clinched top spot when they tied the Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-4 at home Saturday.The Capitals drew first blood in the game scoring two goals, in quick succession to take a 2-0 lead in the game.Rhys Dutcyvich, assisted by Luke Gage, put one in the net with 5:35 left in the first to bring his team within one. Dutcyvich and Gage paired up again to tie the game with help from Mathew Saunders.The Capitals came out on a mission after the second-period break and scored a quick goal to go ahead 3-2.The Eagles refused to give up and tied the game up 3-3 when Dutcyvich got the Hat Trick, once again with the assist going to Gage.The Capitals went ahead 4-3 at the 12:07 mark of the third period.The Eagles just about stood on their head trying to get the tying goal, but were repeatedly denied.With under a minute left on the clock, the Eagles pulled their goaltender. The Eagles capitalized on having an extra attacker and Saunders put the tying goal in the net with the assists going to Dutcyvich and Gage.The tie means the Eagles have clinched top spot in the north division of tier 3, said Coach Andrew Laming.“They came out and they battled all game long,” said Laming.The Eagles amasses three wins and a tie in playoffs.“They’ve been improving all year long,” Laming said.As for the Capitals, “they came out hard. They wanted to beat us.”The Eagles will host Kerry Park, the South Division runner-up, in a semifinal at 1:45 p.m. Sunday in Port Alice. The winner advances to the best-of-3 Vancouver Island Tier 3 championship series, while the loser will see its competitive season end.

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