Campbell River's Austin Gurney

Quick strike gives peewees win

Three scores in a five-minute stretch gives peewees the win.

PORT McNEILL—It may not have been a thing of beauty, but the North Island Eagles peewee rep hockey team managed to put Sunday’s Vancouver Island Hockey League game against visiting Campbell River into the win column.

Consecutive goals by Clayton Bono, Rhys Dutcyvich and Ryan Patterson in a five-minute stretch of the third period as the Eagles pulled out a 4-3 win over the visiting Tyees at Chilton Regional Arena.

The three quick scores turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 advantage for the hosts, and the peewees hung on even as Campbell River closed the gap with a goal with 1:25 remaining and skated the rest of the way with an extra attacker after pulling its goalie.

Payton Laming gave the Eagles a quick, 1-0 lead by converting a Bono assist in the game’s opening minute. But for the next two periods, the penalty-plagued peewees appeared disjointed as the Tyees carried the play to Eagles goalie Michael Perez.

Campbell River knotted the score 1-1 on a power-play goal at 7:36 of the second period and eased ahead 2-1 on a shorthanded score in the opening minute of the third period.

That seemed to light a fire under the Eagles, who stepped up their game and created a flurry of chances that turned the game their way.

Bono’s unassisted goal with 12:09 to play re-tied the contest 2-2, and Dutcyvich put the Eagles back in front four minutes later with assists from linemates Luke Gage and Mathew Saunders.

Suddenly, the Tyees were the team facing penalty troubles, and Patterson made it a 4-2 game when he converted a power-play score off an assist from blueliner Tianna Walkus with 7:23 to go.

Perez and the Eagles’ defence made it stand up until 1:25 remained. With Campbell River goalie Jayce Hudak skating toward his bench in favour of an extra attacker, teammate Kayle Majic rifled a slap shot from the circle just inside the far post to bring the Tyees to 4-3.

When the visitors carried the puck into the Eagles’ zone after the ensuing face-off, Hudak again skated to the bench, and Campbell River played the rest of the way with six attackers. They managed just one shot on goal during that stretch, however, and the Eagles narrowly missed on a pair of shots at the empty net before running out the clock on the win.

With the game, the Eagles kicked off their annual Gazette Hamper Fund benefit. Players from both teams brought donations of non-perishable food and toys to donate to the fund, which provides needy North Island families with meals and gifts for the Christmas season.

The peewees host one more hamper fund benefit this month, when they face Cowichan Valley in Port Alice Dec. 14, at 1:45 p.m.