Despite a wealth of chances, the Squamish Eagles Bantam Rep club fell 3-2 to the Chilliwack Bruins in minor hockey action at Brennan Park Arena on Saturday (Dec. 21).
The Eagles never led but head coach Joe Webber said they had plenty of opportunities to put goals on the scoreboard.
“We should have won,” he said. “We had so many chances but we just couldn’t score.”
Chilliwack opened the scoring at 10:32 of the first period and the Eagles bad puck luck was displayed in the first as they rang a shot off the post with about a minute left in the period.
The Eagles got one on the board at 8:57 of the second period when Finn Withey tallied on the power play after a nice setup from Cody Flann. Noah Brusse drew the second assist on the tying goal. The game remained deadlocked at one after two periods.
The Bruins scored two goals in the first 4:37 of the third period but the Eagles drew to within one again when Xavier Cadoret fed a perfect pass to Nick Antone in the slot. Matt Hedberg picked up the second assist on the play.
Squamish continued buzzing and rang another shot off the crossbar but the game changed when Eagles forward Owen Reith was sent off for a checking-from-behind major. The Eagles would have to play shorthanded for five minutes and it didn’t leave them much time with only 7:32 to play in the game.
Luckily, 41 seconds later, a four-minute double minor was assessed to Chilliwack and it meant the two teams would each have to play a man down for four minutes.
“It did kind of screw up our lines a bit,” Webber said, but he added that the team had been hit by a flu bug this month and lines were already depleted because of illness.
The Eagles pulled goaltender Jason Hoerger in the final minute of play but couldn’t muster up enough offence to tie the game.
Webber said the team is sitting at four wins, four losses and four ties so far this season but noted that a few of the ties probably should have been wins.
This is also the first year that has seen Squamish and Whistler players on the same team and Webber said it’s been a good transition. He said the team is equally split with half of the team based on Squamish and half in Whistler and that he’s enjoyed the infusion of new talent.
Next up for the team will be the 51st annual International Bantam Christmas Tournament in Burnaby. The tournament features teams from Arizona, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Alaska. Squamish battles the Alaska Lions and Surrey on Saturday (Dec. 27) and Burnaby on Sunday (Dec. 28). Additional games will be based on how the Eagles play in the first three games.
The Bantam club returns to action on Jan. 6 and hits the ice in Squamish every Saturday at 7 p.m. For more information on local minor hockey, visit www.squamishminorhockey.com.