THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO The two teams shake hands as they end off the series, Dec. 8-9.

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles tie Victoria Ice Hawks, fall in rematch

The North Island Atom Eagles will be back in league play action at home in January.

The North Island Atom Eagles had a close series against the visiting Victoria Ice Hawks on the weekend.

The Eagles faced the Ice Hawks Dec. 8-9 in a two-game series at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy, with the first game ending in a 4-4 tie. Goals were scored by captain Kyle Rushton, Dakota Knighton, Drake Brooks, and Axen Peterson.

Eagles’ Kyle Rushton dekes the visiting goaltender in a near perfect shot on net.

During the rematch on Sunday, the Eagles started off strong with a 1-0 lead in the first period with four minutes left after captain Kyle Rushton kept the pressure on with a goal that was assisted by Dakota Knighton. Eagles’ Goaltender Matt Mercer then kept the Ice Hawks at bay for the rest of the first period, and the defensive players managed to hold the line.

Ice Hawks’ Carter Stamp-Vincent eventually broke through with the tying goal in the second period at 5:19, assisted by Ty Treverton. With the game 1-1, the Eagles’ defence stayed strong at the line as Mercer continued to save numerous shots on net until the end of the second period.

The Eagles kept up their growing pressure on the Ice Hawks’ goaltender Peter Cavens, as they tried to set up a goal, having had a successful shot shortly after 10-minutes into the third. Rushton, assisted by Carter Henshke, deeked around the front of the net and flipped the puck into the net, in what was an unexpected and stunning surprise for Cavens, making it 2-1 for the Eagles.

However, with five minutes left in the game, Ice Hawks’ player Isaac Watt managed to meet the net with a nice shot, tying it up 2-2.

Eagle’ Goaltender kept up the defence as he saved numerous shots on net.

Despite growing momentum, the Eagles were not able to skate away with a tie, as Stamp-Vincent forced in another goal with three minutes left on the clock, making it 3-2 for the visiting team.

During a teeth-clenching moment in what could have tied the game, one Eagles’ player made a solid move on the net, but may have celebrated a tad bit early, as the puck stopped just short of the goal line, nestled under the goaltender’s pads. Down to five seconds left, the Ice Hawks kept the line as the pucked dropped in one final face-off in what would then cap off the match.

The Eagles will be back in league play action in January.

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TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Eagles’ player takes a shot on net from across the ice.

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO

THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO Eagles’ goaltender Matt Mercer saves a shot on net.

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