Veterans Day weekend started a little early for the Carolina Lady Eagles squad as the team left school Thursday, headed to the rink, and boarded the bus for the Bauer World Invite. The team had the huge honor of being the first North Carolina girls team to be invited to the prestigious tournament. After leaving the rink (twice) the girls and coaching staff departed on the 12 hour ride, arriving at the Southfield, MI hotel at 3am. Thankfully, the first game was Friday at 1:35pm so the team had plenty of opportunity to get some sleep.
Friday's first match was against the London Devilettes, the number one ranked Tier 2 team in Canada and eventual tournament winners. The Eagles played the system holding the Devilettes to 3 goals through 2 periods, unable to capitalize on any chances themselves. After a penalty on the Eagles late in the game, the London team squeaked one in on the power play and then 2 more off awkward bounces with seconds to spare. The game ended in a 6-0 loss. Friday's second game started at 7:20pm against a local team, the Troy Lady Sting. After going down by two early, the Carolina girls rallied late against the Sting, scoring twice in the 3rd. The tying goal came with only 11 seconds left in the game.
Saturday started earlier with puck drop at 11:55 against the Alaska Pioneers. After a decent start the game was 0-0 though 1 period. But the Eagles could not keep that up with Alaska scoring two in the 2nd and three in the 3rd. It was a tough loss but the Eagles still had one more shot to head home with a win. In the last game of tournament play the Eagles faced off with the Orland Park Vikings from Illinois. In a very evenly matched physical game, the girls tied 2-2. In their first ever appearance, the Carolina Eagles finished the Bauer World Invite 0-2-2. But everyday without hockey is a day wasted right? The Alaska All-Stars, with a former Carolina Lightning teammate on their squad, invited the team to a friendly match up on Sunday morning.
The bleachers were a little less than packed in Lincoln Park for the 10am exhibition game. After a slow start, the Eagles soared over the All-Stars with a 5-1 win. Shout out to Whits for scoring 4 in the victory. Once showers were taken the girls boarded the bus again for the ride home, full of study halls and card games, with a 1-2-2 record and an incredible experience under their belt.
Special thanks to the Reaugh family for the travel bags and bus entertainment, Mrs. Jacobson for organizing the on the bus snacks and Mr. Reaugh for live streaming the game for family back home. Thanks the parents who made the trip, the families tuning in at home and the extended family who made it to the games in Detroit.