Kamloops shuts down Eagles’ playoff run

Kamloops Storm knocks out Sicamous Eagles in KIJHL semifinals.

The Sicamous Eagles’ playoff run has come to an end, having been knocked out of the semifinals in five games by the Kamloops Storm.

The series began with Sicamous catching the league-leading Storm off guard and winning 2-1 in overtime. Eagle Devin Gerun potted the tying marker late in the third frame, with teammate Darien Head chipping in the winning OT goal. By then, Eagles goalie Kris Joyce should have been shrouded in steam as he was on fire behind the crease, stopping 57 out of 58 shots on net.

Eagles general manager Wayne March credited both of the team’s goalies, Joyce and Chris Turner, for getting Sicamous through games they otherwise might not have won. At the same time, he says injuries the netminders sustained earlier in the season, requiring Sicamous to play APs in net for two weeks, may have contributed to the team having to face Kamloops in the semifinals.

“But you know, that’s life, that happens,” said March, noting it wasn’t a bad season for the Eagles, with more than half the team being rookies – unlike the Storm, comprised of seasoned KIJHL veterans.

“Kamloops is a powerhouse, a strong, skilled team. I wish them all the best,” said March.

Game 2 in the semi finals, played Feb. 27 in Kamloops, ended in a 3-1 tally for the Storm. Curtis Witney potted the single for Sicamous with 18 seconds left in the third period. He was assisted on the power-play marker by Jayce Davis.

Game 3, played Feb. 28 in Sicamous, saw the Storm win 5-2. Darien Head and Stephen Hawco chipped in singles in the second and third frames respectively, with assists by Hayden Orton, Riley Jepson, Nathan Grieve and Colin Blake.

The Storm earned another 5-2 win in Game 4, played March 1 on Sicamous ice. Stephen Hawco potted the only goal of the first period, assisted by Grieve and Matthew Maetche. Teammate Hayden Orton added the Eagles’s second marker at the end of the third.

Due to officiating, this game was a low point in the series for Sicamous. March said the Eagles couldn’t touch the puck without getting a call, and the team wound up serving 48 minutes in the sin bin.

For Game 5, the Eagles were back in Kamloops, where they lost 6-3 to the home team.

After a scoreless first period, Owen Rowsell and Orton each put in goals in the second frame, with Head scoring the third goal with 20 seconds left in the third period.

March says work has already begun for the next season, and he’s hoping to see some of this season’s new talent return. Joyce, however, has already been offered a spot in Grand Prairie, and March is sure Turner will be moving onward and upwards as well.

Eagle Valley News