While gold is always the preferred choice, the Langley A3 Eagles are more than happy to return home with a silver medal.
The peewee A3 hockey team — going up against A1 and A2 competition — returned from the BC hockey provincial championships with a second-place finish last week.
The Eagles lost 9-3 to a powerhouse Dawson Creek Canucks A1 squad, which hosted the nine-team tournament.
“Considering the calibre of the Dawson Creek team, our boys played a phenomenal game,” said Langley coach Gary Bowsher. “They fought hard and they never gave up.”
The six-goal differential in the gold medal game on March 23 was Dawson Creek’s smallest margin of victory out of their six games and the Eagles were the lone team to hold them to single digits. Dawson Creek finished the competition with an eye-popping +61 goal differential.
Langley won their first three games at provincials, downing South Okanagan 5-2, beating Terrace 7-4 and then edging Cranbrook 5-4.
At 3-0, the Eagles qualified for the semifinals, where they knocked off the Mission A1 Stars 5-4.
Langley was down 4-2 after two periods, but scored three times in the final 20 minutes, including the game-winner with a minute to go.
The victory was also sweet revenge for the Eagles, as Mission had defeated them earlier in the month in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association final four championships.
“Mission was a big victory for the boys — they remembered losing the final four game,” Bowsher said. “They wanted to beat beat them.”
This was the fourth time the two rivals had met this season and each won twice.
In addition to winning silver, the Eagles were also the regional winners of the Chevrolet Good Deeds program (the Times, March 22).
Two other squads also at provincials
This was one of three Langley teams representing LMHA at provincials last week.
The A4 Eagles were in Fernie where they went 3-3 to finish fourth out of the seven teams.
Langley lost their opener, 5-4 to North Okanagan, but bounced back to win their second game of the day, 5-3 over Fernie. The Eagles split their next two games as well, winning 10-3 over 100 Mile House but losing 5-2 to Prince Rupert.
A 5-3 loss to Kimberley dropped their record to 2-3 but the Eagles finished strong with a 17-6 win over Chetwynd.
A third Langley team was representing LMHA at the juvenile provincial championships in Richmond, going 2-3 to finish fourth out of six.
Langley started strong with a 5-2 win over Port Coquitlam but lost 4-2 to Coquitlam, 7-2 to Richmond and 5-1 to North Vancouver. They did finish their season on a winning note, downing Juan de Fuca 10-4.