North Island Bantam Eagles lose dogfight to Kings

“One shift at a time, we really have nothing to lose now.”

The North Island Bantam Eagles went to war with the Powell River Kings on Sunday in the first game of their best-of-three series to see who would move on to provincials, and it was the Kings who ended up drawing first blood.

The puck dropped at 10:45 a.m. on a snowy morning in Port Hardy at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena, and you could tell right away that tensions were high, as both teams came out battling hard, bodychecking players into the boards, and passing well through the neutral zone.

The Kings, who recorded 171 penalty minutes in league play this year, continued to play undisciplined by taking an interference penalty at 12:43, and it paid off for the Eagles as Ethan Bono found the back of the net at 11:21 off a rebound, assists going to David Klatt and Joey Grant.

The Kings regrouped and poured on the offence from there, with Luke Shipley scoring from in front of the net at 10:47, and then Callum Street ripping a wrist shot past Eagles’ goaltender Griffin Handley at 10:00.

The Kings would go on to add one more goal before the end of the first period, thanks to Jackson Frost firing a wrist shot top shelf with 6:30 left on the clock, making it 3-1 for the Kings.

Eagles’ coach Ryan Handley said he felt the team looked tentative in the first “and weren’t winning enough puck battles.”

The second period saw the Kings’ Mason Windsor find the twine at 15:43 to give them a three-goal lead, before the Eagles suddenly started firing back.

Grant scored off a big rebound from the side of the net at 9:50, assisted by Bono and Eagles’ captain Tynan Klein-Beekman, to make it 4-2.

The Kings’ Ethan Taylor answered right back with a goal of his own at 8:14, but then Tyler Roper got the pass from Bono and buried a wrist shot top shelf with 7:50 left on the clock to cut the Kings lead back down to two.

“Our second period was much better, but we had a couple breakdowns in our own end and that can’t happen at this level against a team like that,” said Handley, who added those mistakes cost the Eagles big as they were converted into goals.

The Eagles came out of the dressing room for the third period looking determined, but so did the Kings, although they continued to play undisciplined by taking poor penalties.

The Eagles were dangerously close to capitalizing on their powerplay opportunities, but kept getting robbed by the posts. The Kings’ goaltender Nick Peters shut the door after that, and they would go on to add three more goals to the scoreboard, courtesy of Taylor, Shipley, and Tate Van Hees, and that was all she wrote for the Eagles, as the Kings took the 8-3 victory with them on their way back home to Powell River.

Handley felt the Eagles could have won the game. “The Kings kind of sat back a bit in the third and we had some good chances, but we have to be harder to play against.”

He pointed out the Kings scored six goals from within seven feet of the Eagles’ net, “and that was difference — you’ve gotta tie up sticks and make it hard on them and we didn’t do a good enough job of that.”

While the Eagles definitely didn’t play a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, “mistakes end up hurting you,” Handley added. “Our power play had some good looks, but again we have to bury those point blank chances and get the puck up off the ice, because their goalie plays the lower-half very well.”

Handley feels the Eagles need to “leave it all out there on the ice next weekend, or our season is over. It’s not easy getting here and it’s even tougher getting beyond this point, but we aren’t done yet. One shift at a time, we really have nothing to lose now.”

 

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling more than 500 fires

Port Hardy Fire Rescue knocks down wildland fire

PHFR members responded to the scene, located the fire, and contained it to the immediate area.

Second annual Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce golf tournament

Golf Holes #2 and #6 are Hole-in-One opportunities, each with a cash prize of $25,000!

No taxes paid by Neucel, Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice closes

“Neucel owes us a million dollars and it’s pretty hard to stay status quo when you’re short a million.”

Dragonboat society requests new location for 80 square foot storage shed in McNeill

“Part of my concern for using lot B is that it could become a parking lot for them…”

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Thieves steal supplies, tools and juice boxes from B.C. summer camp

‘Take a moment to think about who you stole from,’ says Burns Bog Society’s Mark Robertson

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Most Read