Langley Eagles fall in final
A provincial championship wasn’t in the cards for the Langley Eagles.
Playing Cranbrook in the midget tier 2 championship final on March 21 in Saanich, the Eagles fell 4-1 in the gold medal game.
“We probably could have played two more games and not scored on that goalie,” said Eagles coach Ron Leroux.
“We were destined not to score.”
In the championship game, Langley hit five goal posts and missed several open nets, the coach lamented.
“I think we used it (goal scoring) all up in the previous two games,” he quipped.
Leroux was referring to the team’s 8-4 win over Rossland-Trail in the semifinals and their 7-2 victory over Prince George in the final round robin game.
The Eagles went 1-2 in round robin play to finish second in their pool.
They lost their first two games by identical 4-3 scores to Powell River and Penticton, but bounced back to defeat Prince George.
With Langley, Prince George and Penticton all sporting 1-2 records, the Eagles received their pool’s second spot thanks to having the best goal differential of the three squads at plus-five.
Against Cranbrook, the Eagles played fantastic but were done in by a lack of finish.
But the silver medal is a nice feather in the cap for the team which went 37-7-10 and won a pair of tournaments: the season-opening Seafair Icebreaker in Richmond and then the New Westminster Herb House tournament in December.
The success doesn’t surprise Leroux.
“Going in, I knew we had a lot of top-end kids,” he said.
“The team had the feeling of a top-level team right out of the gate.”
“It was just a matter of having them work together.”
One of the things that impressed the coach was what they were able to accomplish despite losing 180 player games to injury.
“Nothing like I have ever seen before,” he marveled.
“So full credit to the group for staying the course.”