Powell River U18 Kings completed the regular season portion of their schedule at Hap Parker Arena on Saturday, January 28.
In a game originally slated for December 3, 2022, which was postponed, North Island Eagles (Tri-Port) provided the opposition in a playoff preview matchup.
Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead with both goals coming on breakways, the first of which was shorthanded.
The visitors increased the lead to 3-0 with 5:14 remaining in the second period, but Kings’ forward Braedyn Louie answered 82 seconds later, sending a backhand shot on a partial breakaway past the North Island goaltender.
Evan Piniewski cut the deficit to 3-2 in the first minute of the third period, converting a highlight-reel-type goal by slipping through a defender and lifting a shot high into the top of the net.
Powell River pushed for a tying goal, but North Island scored again five minutes later after a scramble in front of Kings’ goaltender Leo Brosseau, who shared the net with Josh McCormick, playing half a game each.
Eagles added an empty-net goal with 1:02 on the clock to make the final 5-2.
Powell River, North Island and Oceanside will compete in a three team round-robin to begin Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association Tier 3 playoffs. The top two teams will advance to the semi-final round with a pair of teams from southern Vancouver Island.
U18 Kings host Oceanside in their first playoff game on Sunday, February 5, at Hap Parker Arena. Game time is 1:15 pm. Powell River travels for Port McNeill for game two on Saturday, February 11.
Oceanside hosts North Island on February 4.