Rep hockey has officially arrived, and the North Island Bantam Eagles came out with a dominant win in their first home game of the season against the Comox Valley Chiefs.
The exhibition game was held at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy on Saturday afternoon, and it took the Eagles a little bit of time to get warmed up, but thanks to a couple early goals from Tynan Klein-Beekman and David Klatt, they went into the second period with a solid 2-0 lead.
Tristan Mardell added to the Eagles lead in the second period, netting a beauty of a goal at 12:44.
The third period was where the Eagles really came alive and took over, controlling the ice with passing plays, body checks, and finding the back of the net with four unanswered goals coming from Ethan Bono (x2) and Tyler Roper (x2).
The Chiefs managed to score twice before the end of the third period, but it wasn’t enough, and the game ended with a lopsided 7-2 score for the Eagles.
“I thought our first half of the game wasn’t the type of hockey we wanted to play,” said Coach Ryan Handley in an interview after the game. “I think nerves played a big part in that; first game of the year at home, first contact game for many, and first rep game period for one player.”
Handley said he thought that as the game wore on, the Eagles “used our speed more, and I was much happier with our physical game and board play in the final period. It takes a bit to get your feet wet and shake the nerves, but I thought all in all we played a sound game.”