SUBMITTED PHOTO The North Island Bantam Eagles won gold medals at a Remembrance Day minor hockey tournament down island.

North Island Bantam Eagles win gold at minor hockey Remembrance Day tournament

The North Island Bantam Eagles continued their winning ways, this time picking up gold medals at a Remembrance Day tournament in Nanaimo.

The Eagles had a date with a team from Surrey to kick off the tournament on Nov. 9, and it turned out to be a pretty close game.

The Eagles managed to grind out the win, scoring goals in all three periods, courtesy of Kai Verbrugge (x2) and Tye Morash (x2), pulling out a hard-fought 4-2 victory

The next day the Eagles would face off against North Delta, this time hammering them with seven goals, thanks to Morash, Tyler Roper, William Grant, Liam Norman, Verbrugge, Tristan Mardell and Mannie Browne, coming away with a lopsided 7-2 win.

After that, the Eagles would go on to play a team from Whitehorse, which also turned out to be a fairly close game.

The Eagles scored six goals over three periods – Roper, Grant, Cole Klughart (x2) and Norman (x2) all chipped in – to take home a 6-4 win.

The team’s next game was the tournament semi-final, held on Remembrance Day at 7:15 a.m., against the Tier 2 Comox Valley Chiefs, and this time the Eagles came out flying, scoring a ton of goals courtesy of Verbrugge (x3), Grant, Kale Hunt (x2), Browne, captain David Klatt, Roper and Norman, to earn a huge 10-2 victory over the Chiefs.

With that win out of the way, the Eagles were guaranteed a rematch against Surrey in the gold medal game, and did they ever come out on fire.

The Eagles hammered the team from Surrey with seven goals, thanks to Morash (x2), Roper, Hunt, Klughart, Klatt and Verbrugge, skating off the ice with a 7-3 win and the gold medals firmly in their grasp.

Coach Ryan Handley summed up the team’s performance at the Remembrance Day tournament by stating the final game “started out very physical and the tempo was very quick. Surrey had a gameplan to try and knock us around to take our speed away. The boys stuck to the plan and they didn’t let anything get to them.”

Handley noted the Eagles’ speed “is something we really have to use to our advantage and Assistant Coach Glenn Moore really preaches using that outside and creating odd man rushes.”

He noted at the ice clean that the team felt pretty good about the game up to that point, “and we had a lot of jump considering we had about a five hour break between our early morning game and the finals.”

“We stressed discipline and doing the little things right and staying within our abilities,” said Handley. “I thought we got away from that against Whitehorse and we didn’t play very well. In a long season like we have you will have those games here and there, but the mark of a good team doesn’t allow it to carry on to the next game, and I thought our game versus Comox was better. I have such a great coaching staff with Steve Verbrugge, Glenn, and the addition of Thor Rosback has been great. The boys really have let him fit right in and he is having fun with it. We beat some good teams this past weekend and those boys worked their tails off to accomplish what we set out to do. Some guys had some real great weekends and everyone did their part. As Glenn says ‘its just one of the many steps in our journey this season’.”

After the tournament was over, the Eagles had two league games to play the next weekend, where they defeated the Oceanside Generals 7-3 – goals from Klatt (x3), Verbrugge (x3) and Morash – and then taking down the Nanaimo Clippers 8-1 the day after – goals coming from Hunt, Aaren Kufaas (x2), Klatt, Verbrugge, Brandon Brotchie and Grant – to improve their league play record to 5-0.

Handley added he is proud of his son Griffin, stating he has been terrific this season as goaltender, backstopping the Eagles to an 18-1-2 record overall, with five shutouts and a Goals Against Average of 1.90.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

North Island College ready for a virtual fall semester

“It’s a really good time to be a student.”

Ten hour planned power outage coming for north Island residents

To keep crews and the public safe, power must be switched off while BC Hydro completes the work.

A parent’s pandemic survival kit: Are you rewarding bad behaviour? Part 2

The phrase, “be good” is just an anxiety-provoking nebulous idea that threatens rejection.

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read