Members of the Langley A3 Eagles celebrate after winning the gold medal at a tournament in Vernon.

Eagles golden after shootout win

Langley peewee hockey team takes top spot at Vernon hockey tournament

Billy Thompson scored the shootout winner, sending the Langley peewee A3 Eagles to the gold medal with a 5-4 victory over the North Okanagan Knights.

The Langley Minor Hockey Association squad was competing with seven other teams over the Thanksgiving long weekend in Vernon.

The Eagles faced the Knights in the championship final and found themselves trailing 3-1 with just one period to play. But the team dug down and rallied to tie the score at four and force overtime.

Neither team could score in the five-minute overtime meaning the gold medal would be decided via shootout.

After CJ Christensen and Jude Wessel scored on their shootout attempts — and after goaltender Bryan Keffer stopped the first North Okanagan shooter — a goal from Thompson would give Langley the gold medal.

And Thompson delivered, swooping in and scoring high to the glove side, sending the Eagles into a frenzied on-ice celebration.

“All the kids played an important role in our success this weekend,” said coach Darcy Pinch. “Most importantly, the kids worked hard and they never gave up. When we had the chance to win at the end, we made it count.”

The Eagles had gone 2-1 in the round robin and qualified for the gold medal game because of goal differential.

Langley beat Prince George 10-2 with Kaden Maryschak notching a hat trick, and they beat the Nelson Leafs 7-3 with Nico Marini earning player of the game honours. The only blemish came in the first game when they lost 4-3 to the host Vernon Vipers, despite outshooting their opponent 50-15. Christensen scored twice in the loss.

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