PORT ALICE—An unlikely natural hat trick by Ethan Bono in the third period Saturday broke open a tight game and lifted the North Island Eagles atom development team to a 5-3 win over Juan de Fuca in the final game of tiering play at Port Alice Arena.
The visiting Grizzlies sandwiched a pair of goals late in the second period around a score by Eagles forward Cole Klughart to carry a 3-2 lead into the final period.
But Bono spread three straight goals across nearly 20 minutes of the final period and goalie Kayden Jones shut down the Juan de Fuca attack as the atoms rallied for their first win in the five-game tiering round.
Bono netted the tying score just 32 seconds into the third period, but the 3-3 score held up until the 17:45 mark, when he struck for his second unassisted goal, which proved to be the game-winner.
Klughart provided the assist as Bono completed his hat trick and provided the clinching insurance score with just 8.7 seconds remaining.
Daunte McKinney staked the Eagles to the early lead, scoring on the team’s first shot of the game at 2:06 of the opening period.
But Juan de Fuca answered on Chase Girredes’ score midway through the period.
The 1-1 score stood up for more than 22 minutes of back-and forth hockey before the Grizzlies’ Reid Fryer put his squad up with a goal at 15:23 of the second.
Klughart responded for the Eagles two minutes later to tie the game again, but Juan de Fuca jumped back in front 3-2 on a goal with 1:40 left in the period, setting up Bono’s final-period heroics.
The Tier 3 atoms will now await placement in a competitive division for the coming regular season.