Joey Grant watches his shot go wide as the Eagles host Juan de Fuca at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena Sunday.

Atoms lose out to Juan de Fuca

Local league leaders suffer first blemish on perfect season record.

PORT HARDY—The North Island Eagles atom development team is used to seeing runaway scores like 7-1 on the scoreboard this season.

They’re just not used to being on the low end.

But that was the deficit the Eagles faced Sunday against the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies at Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena, as the home side lost for the first time in league play last weekend.

To give the home side its due, the Eagles fought hard to rally back to 7-5 before an empty-netter clinched it for the down-Islanders.

The game could easily have gone the other way. The Eagles opened the stronger of the two sides, creating a half-dozen solid chances in the opening ten minutes. But Juan de Fuca net minder Aksel Sheppard was in top form and kept the scoreboard blank.

The visitors got the breakthrough late in the first before exploding in the second, racing away to 4-0 before the home side found an answer, Tyler Roper’s pass finding Keenan Saunders for the conversion.

The celebrations were short-lived, however. The Grizzlies back-doored two more in a minute and a half to race all but out of sight.

The Eagles got their first power play with 13 minutes left in the third and saw a short-handed JdF goal make it 7-1. That goal brought the Eagles to life and  kickstarted a fierce comeback from the home side.

Joey Grant found the net with the advantage before captain Tynan Klein-Beekman slotted home to make it 7-3 with the minutes ticking down.

The Eagles kept the pressure on and rode their luck when a backhanded shot from Ethan Bono was tipped into the air by netminder Sheppard, who then fumbled the catch into the net as the momentum swing continued.With 3:45 left, Roper found Klein-Beekman for his second to bring the home side within two.

The Grizzlies made a goalie change in an attempt to stem the flow of goals before a roughing call gave the home side a man advantage with 1:29 left to play.

The Eagles went all-out, pulling goalie Kayden Jones and skating six-on-four but a breakaway empty-netter sealed the win for the Grizzlies.

The game was an exact echo of the previous day’s exhibition matchup, which also ended 8-5 for the Grizzlies. Grant scored twice and Klein-Beekman, Saunders and Bono had one each for the Eagles.

“I don’t think (Juan de Fuca) are any better than us,” said coach Ray Bono after Sunday’s game. “It’s good for the kids to take a loss. They were a little scared to play out there today. We’ll see them again in the playoffs.”

 

The atoms have one more weekend of league play before the playoffs, facing off against Victoria Racquet Club at home on February 16.

 

 

Just Posted

FOLLOW-UP: Shelley Downey speaks on her Conservative candidacy

“I anticipate requesting a leave of absence from Port McNeill council,” Downey said.

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

Shoebox Project: Local women in need to enjoy shoebox gifts

This year over 500 gift filled Shoeboxes were delivered in Campbell River and the North Island.

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Port McNeill council releases committee appointments

The town finalized their committee appointments in a recent council meeting.

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read