PORT HARDY—The North Island Eagles atom development hockey team played perhaps its best all-around game Saturday in dispatching the Saanich Braves 6-1 Saturday.
With a big tournament coming up this weekend in Campbell River and the playoffs on the horizon a few weeks later, it comes at a good time.
"That was our most unselfish game of the year," head coach Marty Gage said. "Every goal came off a pass, and every player had a good game."
Even with that qualifier, Aiden Watson of Port Alice stood out in a performance that netted him a pair of goals.
"That was a breakout game for Aiden," said Gage. "His confidence exploded and he was a backchecking machine."
Goalie Kayden Jones was also solid, missing a shutout on a minor slip-up after the Braves' Kyle Erickson carried the puck behind his net. As Jones turned to his left to guard that post, Erickson reversed course and beat a defender to deposit a wraparound into the open side of the net.
Otherwise, Jones and the Eagles controlled the contest from start to finish. Ryan Patterson added two goals, Mathew Saunders had a goal and two assists, Tynan Klein-Beekman added a goal and Payton Laming and Rhys Dutcyvich added two assists each.
The Eagles jumped out quickly, scoring three goals in the opening period. After Erickson got his wraparound at 9:12 of the second to pull Saanich to 3-1, the Triport squad promptly got the lead back to three goals when Klein-Beekman converted off Saunders' crossing pass just 12 seconds later.
Liem Wadhams and Luke Gage added assists in the victory for the Eagles, who sit in third place in the Vancouver Island Hockey League's Division 3.