The Langley Eagles exploded for five goals — two of which came into an empty net — to down the Langley Icehawks 7-2 and win the peewee Langley Cup championship.
“These guys are good,” said Eagles coach Ross Murdoch, referring to his team’s opponent in the championship final on Sunday at the George Preston Recreation Centre.
“It was a tough, close game, it was really a 3-2, 4-2 kind of game.”
During the season, the two peewee squads played three times with the Icehawks winning twice.
“I told my team we would win if we worked hard,” Murdoch said.
In Sunday’s final, the teams were scoreless after one period before Zach Bender and Keigan Jarvis scored a minute apart to put the Eagles up 2-0.
The Icehawks Sam Messmer would cut the lead in half a few minutes later to make it 2-1 with one period to go.
But the Eagles would again use a quick-strike offence with goals from Jacob Winterburn and Matt Garbutt 60 seconds apart for the 4-2 lead.
And after Elliot Fast brought the Icehawks within a pair, the Eagles iced the game with a pair of empty-net goals from Jarvis and Min Kim.
Levi Murdoch rounded things out with one final goal.
The fact that the Eagles made it to the championship final was an impressive feat, considering they dropped their second game in the Cup playoffs. In that game, they were trailing 4-0 early in the first period and despite controlling play for the rest of the game, lost 4-3 in the double knockout tournament.
This prompted Murdoch and his coaching staff to change up the team’s pre-game routine. But in their next game — a must-win — they again fell behind 2-0 after two minutes.
This time, the Eagles were able to overcome the slow start as they rallied for the 6-2 win. They then won twice more to advance to the final against the Icehawks.
The Cup win caps off a strong season for the Eagles who won a pair of tournaments (in North Vancouver in December and in Burnaby in March) and finished twice once at a tournament in Penticton in January.
And they did all this missing two players, as they lost one to a broken arm in December, and then lost their captain to a broken ankle in January. While the team experienced a lull with the injuries, they placed third for the playoffs and both were back for the Cup run.
Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
The Langley Eagles celebrate a goal during their 7-2 victory in the finals of the peewee Langley Cup finals.