Call it a comeback.
By the end of 2011, the Sicamous Eagles were flying high, winning games and growing stronger as a team. And then they had a two-week break. What emerged from that was a team that seemed to have gone back to square one. Team manager Wayne March questions whether a two-week break was in the best interest of the team.
Regardless, the Eagles have since been able to get it together and have earned themselves a spot in the playoffs.
That came after three wild games last week, two of which were played against rivals, the Revelstoke Grizzlies.
The first of the three, though was played against the Kelowna Chiefs, Friday night in Kelowna. The home-ice advantage appeared to be elusive to the Chiefs, who suffered a 7-0 defeat to the Eagles.
Brett Trofanenko potted the first goal of the evening halfway through the first frame. Assists were by Jagger Bowles and Connor Buick. A goal from Corbin Marcotte gave Sicamous a 2-1 lead for the second frame, with assists going to James Stoski and Brendan Devries. Bowles bowled over the Chiefs’ netminder in the first two minutes of the second period with two back-to-back goals, both assisted by Connor Buick and Trofanenko. Matt Reed put in goal five for Sicamous, aided by Brendon Wilde and Joel Kipp.
The final two goals of the night came in the third period, courtesy of Marcotte and Tarren Cavanaugh, with assists from Brendan Devries and Nathan Grieves.
Bowles was named the game’s first star, Trofanenko second and Sicamous netminder Kris Drott, third star.
The Eagles hosted the Grizzlies on Saturday. Sicamous got off to a promising start, with two goals in the first frame, the first from Bowles and the second from Connor Buick (assists by Trofanenko, Buick, Marcotte and Brad Crump). The team continued to have a strong game but were shut out for the rest of the evening by the Bruins. With the playoffs on the horizon though, Sicamous wasn’t ready to back down.
On Sunday, the Eagles were on the Stoke where they turned the tables on the Grizzlies to pull off a 6-5 overtime win.
Once again, Bowles was first on the board with a goal at 18:12, assisted by Cavanaugh. Minutes later, Reed followed suit with a marker, aided by Devries. The Grizz replied seconds later. At 3:54, Sicamous’ Steven Powers potted a power-play goal, with assists by Connor Fynn and Cavanaugh. Revelstoke shot back with a power-play marker of their own, ending the period on Sicamous’ tail at 3-2.
Revelstoke’s Jordan Bledsoe took advantage of an early power play in the second period, potting two goals in the first minute. Minutes later, Bledsoe potted another goal, giving the Grizzlies a 5-3 lead. Sicamous shot back later in the period, with goals coming from Brayden Taekema, assisted by Reed and Fynn, followed by a goal at :46 from Trofanenko, assisted by Stoski.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third frame, pushing play into overtime.
In overtime, Stoski was able to utilize a power play to his advantage, finding the back of the Revelstoke net to give Sicamous the win.
Stoski was named first star for the game.
The win put Sicamous in the playoffs, where they’ll once again be pitted against the Grizzlies, the top-ranking team in the KIJHL Doug Birks Division. It’s been kind of a come-from-behind victory for the Eagles to get where they are now, and they’ve shown they have what it takes to humble the mighty bruins.
The playoff schedule for the remainder of February is as follows: Friday, Feb. 24, Sicamous vs. Revelstoke (away); Saturday, Feb. 25, Sicamous vs. Revelstoke (away); Monday, Feb. 27, Sicamous vs. Revelstoke (home); Tuesday, Feb. 28, Sicamous vs. Revelstoke (home). All games begin at 7 p.m.