“We’re two wins away from provincials,” said an elated North Island Eagles Peewee Coach Marty Gage.
In a do-or-die game Saturday, the Eagles beat the Kerry Park Islanders 9-4 earning the right to advance to a best of three series against Sooke. The winner of that series will advance to the provincial championships being held in Kitimat.
“I feel really good,” said Gage. “We prepared very hard for this game. Physically and emotionally we were ready,” he said. “There was a specific game plan and they followed it to a tee.”
The last time these two teams met there was a line brawl and although it was Valentine’s Day there was not a lot of love going around this time either. “These two teams don’t like each other,” Gage said.
“Some of the players got hurt and banged up today,” said Gage, but they fought through it.
Goalie Kayden Jones played a significant role in the victory as well.
“He made the saves we needed in the beginning.”
Ryan Patterson got things going for the Eagles with a slapshot from the point that went in at the 8:53 mark of the first period. Getting the assist was Joey Grant.
Just over a minute later, Rhys Dutcywich sent a deflection into the net. Mathew Saunders and Luke Gage helped set up the goal.
Captain Saunders banged home a rebound to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead going into the first period break. Gage and Dutcywich assisted.
The teams were evenly-matched in the second with each scoring twice.
Grant opened up the scoring for the Eagles at the 17:24 mark of the second on a pass from Chelsea Noel. Connor Van Will scored the second goal of the period with help from Liem Wadhams and Grant.
The North Island team got a bit of help when just 10 seconds into the third period the Islanders put one in their own net. Dutcywich was credited with the goal.
Saunders went on two score two more goals, to get a hat trick in the game and put his team ahead
Assisting on Saunders’ first breakaway goal was Gage and the second, that went in off the crossbar was Dutcywich.
Ryan Patterson scored the Islanders ninth goal with Dutcywich assisting again, his fourth of the game.