It was a heartbreaking end to the regular season for the North Island Peewee Eagles.
The Eagles (7-2-2 record) squared off on Sunday at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill against their Tier 3 division rival, the Comox Valley Chiefs (6-3-2 record), in the final game of the regular season to see who would earn the league banner.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they got off to a slow start in the first period and the Chiefs were skating hard.
The Chiefs ended up scoring three straight goals in the first thanks to Dylan Matthews and Grady Watt (x2), assists going to Shayne McGuigan and Westin Churchill.
Captain Rylan Krawietz would finally get things going for the Eagles by putting the puck in the net at 1:22 off a weird shot from the corner, assist on the play going to Tanner Livingston, and that’s how the score would stay until the second period.
The Chiefs came out of the intermission fired up and Carson Smith immediately fired the puck past Eagles’ goaltender Matt Mercer at 19:04, assisted by Churchill and Max Duncan, to make it 4-1.
The Eagles tried to return fire, but couldn’t get control of the puck, and the Chiefs continued to hammer them mercilessly in the offensive zone, with Matthews and Walker Smith scoring goals at 13:46 and 13:07 (assists going to McGuigan, Jack Rae and Colton Howell) to blow the game wide open before the start of the third period.
Down 6-1, the Eagles knew they had to respond. Defencewoman Maddy Jorgenson flipped the puck towards the net from the blue line and Kyle Rushton tipped it in past the Chiefs’ goaltender Elliott Horner at 18:11.
Rushton would then fire the puck home on a fast break at 14:34, assisted again by Jorgenson, but that was all she wrote for the Eagles offensively.
Smith would go on to convert for the Chiefs at 8:20 to give them a commanding 7-3 lead, and that’s how the game ended.
All told, the Eagles finished the regular season with a very strong 7-3-2 record, with 58 goals for and 46 goals against.