Action shots from the North Island Bantam Eagles vs. Victoria Racquet Club Kings on Saturday, Dec. 14. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

North Island Bantam Eagles dethrone Victoria Racquet Club Kings, gunning for Tier 2 League Banner

The Eagles “had to be at the top of our game” to defeat Victoria Racquet Club Kings.

The North Island Bantam Eagles continued their streak of dominance this weekend, taking on the Tier 1 Victoria Racquet Club Kings in their last home game of the regular season.

The Eagles squared off against the Kings on Saturday afternoon at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy, and they came out aggressive right from the start, with Lucca Stewart grabbing his own rebound and firing it home from the slot at 10:45 of the first period.

Less than three minutes later, Zach Spafford converted off a Tye “The Train” Morash slapshot to give the Eagles a two-goal lead, and they weren’t done scoring just yet (Spafford now has 20 goals in 16 games this season).

With 1:58 left on the clock, Aren Kufaas banged the puck home in front of the net, assisted by Adam Russell, to make it 3-0 going into the second period.

The second period started off the same as the first period, with Morash finding the twine at 16:25, assisted by Jonah Johnson and Jack Barrett.

The Kings would finally get on the scoreboard with two minutes left thanks to Chase Kittleson firing the puck past Eagles’ goaltender Logan Lamothe to make it 4-1.

The Eagles, however, refused to break. Stewart picked up his second unassisted goal of the game at 16:58, and then captain William Grant iced things off with a goal at 13:08, assisted by Barrett and Spafford.

The Kings would score twice more thanks to Jonathan Attwell (assisted by Carter Crabb and Tyler Delli Carri), but that was it for them as the Eagles held on to win 6-3 over a very tough Kings’ team.

After the game ended, head coach Glenn Moore said the team knew they wanted to go into the Christmas break “with a strong performance, and being challenged by a Tier 1 team, that meant we had to be at the top of our game.”

Moore noted it wasn’t a perfect game as the Kings actually exposed a few areas that the team needs to work on, “but we as a group continue to improve. And if we keep going on this path, we may finish close to the top of the Tier 2 division, which will be quite an achievement for us, especially since we have done it without a very strong player in our lineup (Kale Hunt) who we will get back in the new year.”

The Eagles are sitting tied for first place with the Comox Valley Chiefs in the Tier 2 division, and they will be on the road for the rest of the regular season, with just four more games left to play in their quest to capture two banners in one season.


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