Peewee Eagles go 3-1 in playoff games

The North Island Peewee Eagles went 3-1 in playoff games to qualify for the finals

The North Island Peewee Eagles battled through four tough playoff games and came away with three important

wins, sending them into the semi-finals against the Kerry Park Islanders on Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Doug

Bondue Arena in Port Alice (results to follow in the next issue of the Gazette). “They’re a very easy team to

coach, they know what to do on the ice,” said Coach Ray Bono when asked to comment on the team’s

success.The Eagles first playoff game was down island against the Port Alberni Bulldogs on Saturday, Jan. 30,

at the Weyerhauser Arena in Port Alberni, which they ended up losing 9-4. The Eagle’s Tyler Roper (x2), Joey

Grant, and Evan Manke all scored goals for the team. “They definitely showed up with travelling legs,”

mentioned Bono. “They tried their best, but they gave up too much of a lead early on to pull off a

comeback.” The Eagles regrouped after the loss and travelled to play against the Nanaimo Clippers on

Sunday, Jan. 31, at the NIC Arena in Nanaimo, where they scored seven goals in the 1st period, courtesy of

Grant (x3), Chelsea Noel, Manke, Tynan Klein-Beekman, and Brandon Brotchie to take a 7-1 lead going into

the 2nd period.The Clippers came back in the 2nd period and scored six goals of their own, but with 5:11 left,

Ethan Bono scored to put the Eagles ahead 8-7. The Eagles’ Grant and Klein-Beekman added two more goals

in the 3rd period to seal the win 10-7 in what turned out to be a back and forth, action-packed game.”The team

rebounded well from their loss,” said Bono after the game. “They pulled together as a team and started to play

the way that they know how to play.” The Eagles third playoff game was a home game against the Cowichan

Valley Capitals on Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy. The Eagles kicked

off the action at 13:09 with a nice goal from Connor Van Will, and the Capitals returned the favour at 2:19 with

a goal of their own to tie it up 1-1 before the end of the 1st period.The Capitals added another goal right away

at 19:45 of the 2nd period to pull ahead 2-1. The Eagles’ Bono answered back at 12:56 with a goal from the

side of the net to tie the game, and the Eagles kept pouring on the offensive pressure from there. Grant scored

at 9:52, Bono scored his second goal on a five-on-three power play at 6:06, his third goal at 5:05 with a wrist

shot, his fourth goal at 4:44 with another wrist shot, and his fifth goal, a nice deke around the goalie, with 2:52

left in the period to make it a 7-2 blowout for the Eagles.The 3rd period was a little slower. The Eagles’ Klein-

Beekman scored at 16:25, and the Capitals added one more goal at 10:51 to make the final score a dominant

8-3 win for the Eagles.  “The kids played their hardest and it showed in the results. We’ve got two great goalies,

and they continue to prove that when they play as a team that is when they are most successful,” said

Bono.The Eagles fourth playoff game was another home game, this time against the Campbell River B Tyees,

at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill on Sunday, Feb. 7.The Eagles jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in

the 1st period, thanks to goals from Grant and Van Will at 6:39 and 1:33. In the 2nd period, Grant scored his

second goal of the game at 10:46. The Tyees answered back at 6:42 to make it 3-1, but the Eagles kept up the

offensive pressure, scoring with 4:00 left in the period. Van Will added an insurance goal in the 3rd period with

3:56 left on the clock to bring the final score to a decisive 5-1 victory for the Eagles, as they pulled off their third

playoff win in four games.The win against the Tyees “was a big game,” said Bono. “The Tyees hadn’t lost in the

playoffs yet. We went out there and worked as a team, and just played better hockey.”

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