North Island Eagles peewee Josh Walkus reaches to knock down the puck in front of Sooke's Isaac Johnson-Grant during their teams' game Saturday in Port Alice.

North Island Eagles peewee Josh Walkus reaches to knock down the puck in front of Sooke's Isaac Johnson-Grant during their teams' game Saturday in Port Alice.

A little puck luck goes a long way in loss

PORT ALICE—Bounces favour visiting Sooke as Eagles peewees take 2-0 loss in Vancouver Island Hockey League play

PORT ALICE—The North Island Eagles peewee hockey team took a loss in its lone game last weekend.

But chalk this one up to a simple case of “puck luck.”

The visiting Sooke Thunderbirds claimed a 2-0 Vancouver Island Hockey League victory over the Eagles Saturday on the final weekend of the regular season.

But it was an evenly played, entertaining contest that might well have turned out the other way.

The T-birds picked up one goal on a power-play shot from the point that was inadvertently redirected by an Eagles defender.

They got their second on a defensive breakdown that allowed Jordan Schutt to skate in alone on peewee goalie Nyck Ruel.

Even then, Schutt’s shot found the net only after deflecting off both Ruel’s glove and his mask.

Most notable is how uncommon such breakdowns have become for the peewees, who struggled with position defence early in the season but have played solidly in the second half while becoming a competitive force in the league.

On their offensive end, the Eagles had numerous opportunities Saturday, which were stymied alternately by solid play from opposing goalie Shawn Parkinson, a succession of post and crossbar deflections, and open shots that simply went wide.

But coach Brian Heller and his staff had no complaints about effort, or the club’s continued growth as a cohesive team after starting the year as a loose collection of mostly first-year rep players.The peeweees will travel for a single exhibition game this weekend in Campbell River in preparation for the Tier 3 Island playoffs, which begin the following week. Game locations and times will be determined this weekend.