SUBMITTED PHOTO The North Island Midget Eagles won bronze medals at a tournament in Oceanside.

North Island Midget Eagles earn bronze medals in Oceanside

The North Island Midget Eagles brought home some shiny medals to add to their collection.

The North Island Midget Eagles brought home some shiny medals to add to their collection.

The Eagles travelled down island to play in a tournament in Oceanside against some very tough teams from all over BC and the USA, and here’s how they did.

Game 1 – Oct. 25

Eagles vs. Oceanside Generals

The Eagles managed to score four goals against the Generals thanks to Tristan Mardell, Koen Sharpe, and Braden Walkus (x2), but the Generals scored five to take home the win.

“We weren’t very good and lost to a team we shouldn’t have, too many defensive zone mistakes and guys looking for the big hit and leaving lanes to do so. They left our goalie (Avary Miller) high and dry a few times. Av did what she could and kept us close, but in the end it was a disappointing way to kick off our tourney” – head coach Ryan Handley

Game 2 – Oct. 25

Eagles vs. Sunshine Coast Blues

The Eagles scored seven goals courtesy of Walkus, Joey Grant (x4), Zach Noel, and Mardell (assists went to Grant, Luke Gage x4, Mardell, Tyler Roper, Walkus x2, and Liem Wadhams), but it wasn’t enough as the Blues knocked the puck past Griffin Handley nine times over three periods.

“I thought we had better jump and our power play looked very good, we’ve been working on the 1-3-1 set up which is a multiple option power play, but it’s been met with some resistance as it’s new to some players, but once learned it is very lethal and it looked great for us. We once again weren’t very good in our own zone and Griff had a couple uncharacteristic pucks beat him, but in the end it’s our attention to detail that was lacking” – head coach Ryan Handley

Game 3 – Oct. 26

Eagles vs. Seattle Sno-King

The Eagles scored two goals (Sharpe and Walkus) over three periods to skate away with their first big win of the tournament, shutting out the Sno-King.

“Seattle is a good team and we had switched up some lines to try and find some balance and a spark and that spark came in a goal. We threw Griff back in and he responded and so did our defence. It wasn’t the high flying game some like, but I thought some guys really stepped up. Rope and Sharpie had some good shifts and teamed up on the go-ahead goal after a great back check and hit by Rope. We were outshot, but Griff stood his ground and we added the empty netter to secure the win” – head coach Ryan Handley

Game 4 semi-final – Oct. 26

Eagles vs. Seattle Sno-King

The Eagles scored two goals thanks to Kai Cyr and Grant, but the Sno-King’s put four in against Miller to steal the win.

“We knew Seattle was looking for revenge as we were the only one to beat them, they came at us hard and we didn’t respond well to the speed and looked tired. We kept it close but in the end just didn’t have enough in the tank to get past them” – head coach Ryan Handley.

Game 5 Bronze medal game – Oct. 27

Eagles vs. Oceanside Generals

The Eagles scored eight goals (Grant x4, Roper x2, Cyr x2) and the Generals only scored three.

“Worst half of a game maybe we’ve played all year, guys late for warm up, no work ethic or heart. I let them know at ice clean how embarrassed and disappointed I was and what it was going to take to play at a high level all year. We responded well and took over the game. It was a costly game for us as we lost Gage just before half time with what turned out to be a broken arm. You don’t replace a guy like that in your line up, he’s a competitor and wants the team to win so it’ll test us. We would find out the next day Patty was also injured in the game, and he’s one of our work horses on the back end and our captain and hopefully he doesn’t need as much time, it’s upper body and he’s week to week. In the end, we are happy with the outcome and the bronze medal. Leaving on a high note is good, but we saw the work that needed to be done” – head coach Ryan Handley.

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