North Island Eagles peewee goalie Michael McLaughlin stops a shot by Campbell River's Riley Billy as teammate Tianna Walkus helps out Sunday in Port Hardy.

Peewees tripped up by Campbell River

North Island Eagles peewee rep hockey team suffered a 9-2 loss to Campbell River.

PORT HARDY—The North Island Eagles peewee rep hockey team suffered a 9-2 loss to Campbell River Sunday in their final tuneup for the regular season.

The peewees got off to a slow start in the first 12 minutes and struggled again over the final 10 minutes. In between, they played the visiting Tyees to a draw in the exhibition game at Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

“There’s a lot of learning going on right now,” assistant coach Chad Mackenzie said of the Eagles, who boast just three second-year players on a young roster. “This is a development team; we’ve just got to start with the basics and keep them positive while we bring ’em up to speed.”

Campbell River scored four quick first-period goals, including one with a 5-on-3 advantage and two more shorthanded, and pushed its lead to 5-0 early in the second.

The Eagles got on the board when Taylor Ranger collected a lead pass from Carson Strang and struck for her first goal of the season from the bottom of the left circle at 5:51 of the second. Mandy Foldy also earned an assist on the play.

The Tyees scored once more before the ice-cleaning break for a 6-1 lead. But goalie Michael McLaughlin and the Eagles kept them off the board for more than 20 minutes and Strang drew the hosts within 6-2 with a one-timer off Clayton Bono’s crossing pass on a power play at 7:17 of the third period.

The team will find out its league placement and get its schedule this week. The coaching staff will continue to work with the young players to build their skill level and experience throughout the year.

“By the end of the year we have to be a competitive team,” said Mackenzie. “We’re not going to measure that in wins and losses; we just need to come out at a rep level, game in and game out.”