With two big round robin playoff wins in hand, the North Island Bantam Eagles made the trek down island (plus a ferry ride) to Powell River on Saturday for a date with the Kings to see who would come out on top of the division and advance to the semi-final.
The game ended up being a defensive stalemate for the whole first period, with neither team being able to get on the scoreboard, but the Eagles high powered offence quickly found their legs in the second, scoring six unanswered goals thanks to Zach Spafford x3, Tye Morash, Jack Barrett and Landon Turgeon, assists going to Barrett, Spafford, Kale Hunt and captain William Grant.
Down 6-0, the Kings came out firing in the third, netting five goals thanks to Liam Caroll, Jake Hollinshead, Braedyn Louie x2, and Tanner Burt, assists going to Dreyden Harris x2, Cullen Wilson, Carol, and Louie, but the Eagles answered back with three goals of their own courtesy of Spafford, Hunt, and Morash, with the assist on Hunt’s goal going to Grant.
All told, it was a high scoring 9-5 victory for the Eagles, with head coach Glenn Moore noting the Kings “really tried to take advantage of our team who were a little tired from travelling. They got pucks deep and forechecked us hard early.”
Despite a ton of resistance from the Kings, the Eagles “were able to battle through and get through the first,” Moore stated. “In the second we got our legs under us and with some hard work and commitment to the process, we were able to take over the game.”
Moore added that one of the nice things about playing a team they hadn’t seen since preseason tiering was, “we didn’t know what to expect and had to read and react to how they were executing — we then made the adjustments and took over the game, which is something we will need to do if we continue to move forward.”
All told, Moore felt the Eagles did what they needed to do “to put ourselves in the best possible position, and again the guys went out and got the job done.”
Next up for the Eagles is a home ice semi-final showdown against a team that is still to be determined to see who will move on to the playoff best-of-three finals.
The winner of the best-of-three finals will then be going to compete in the BC Championships.