It was a valuable learning experience for the North Island Atom Eagles on Saturday afternoon at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.
The Eagles faced off against the Campbell River “A” Tyees, one of the toughest teams in the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association’s Atom Development league, and it’s safe to say the Tyees weren’t playing around once the puck hit the ice.
Ethan Crowhurst opened the scoring for the Tyees at 8:14 of the first period, and then Beau Murray added to the lead at 5:45 with a nice goal of his own.
In the second period, the Eagles were still struggling to get their offence going, forcing their goalie, Lucas Handley, to make as many big saves as he possibly could to help keep the score close.
The Tyees managed to break through with another goal from Crowhurst at 12:41, and then they netted three more goals courtesy of Carsen Barton, Hunter Auramenko, and Murray to end the second period 6-0.
The third period featured more of the same. The Tyees beat the Eagles to the puck and kept finding the back of the net, with six goals coming from Cale Livingston, Brennan Kraus-Lapointe, Theo Munroe (x2), Crowhurst, and Murray.
The Eagles, however, didn’t lay down and quit. With 6:22 left, Maddox Peterson intercepted the puck and carried it down the ice, blasting a nice wrister past the Tyees’ goalie to officially break the shutout.
Final score, 11-1 for the visiting Tyees, with Handley stopping roughly 50 shots for the Eagles over three periods.
The Eagles had a rematch against the Tyees on Sunday afternoon at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy, which they ended up losing 7-3.