The North Island Bantam Eagles kept their winning streak alive, going 2-0 this weekend at home during preseason tiering.
The Eagles had a date with the Kerry Park Islanders on Saturday at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill, where they ended up pulling off a gritty 8-5 win. Goals were scored by Tyler Roper (x2), Tristan Mardell, Kai Verbrugge, William Grant, Liam Norman, Aren Kufaas and Tye Morash, with assists going to captain David Klatt, Mardell, Mannie Browne (x2), Roper, Garrett Beek, Kale Hunt, and Cole Klughart.
“It was a rough game but we built a 7-2 lead and then kind of fell asleep for a bit in the third,” said coach Ryan Handley. “Kerry Park started getting a bit chippy and we didn’t do a very good job of keeping our emotions in check and took some undisciplined penalties that put us in a hole. I thought Kai Verbrugge, Tyler Roper and Cole Klughart had real strong games and the rest of the team as a whole played pretty well. Liam Norman scored his first goal as an Eagle and Tyler Roper made sure to get the puck for him.”
The Eagles played again on Sunday against the Comox Valley Chiefs, this time at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy, and did they ever come out flying. The Eagles scored 11 goals over three periods, courtesy of Klatt (x3), Mardell (x2), Grant (x2), Verbrugge, Morash (x2), and Browne. Assists went to Brandon Brotchie (x2), Norman, Morash, Klughart, Roper (x2), Verbrugge, Klatt (x2), and Browne.
“I thought the boys played our best full game so far,” said Handley. “We came back today and really challenged them to stay within our game plan and system and not try and over play, just keep things simple and use our speed. We have, from what I’ve seen, two or three of the fastest kids in Tier 3, and if we attack from the outside and drive the net with purpose we will be successful.”
Handley noted the team “made it pretty easy on Griffin (Handley) today, but when called upon he did his job and our team’s defence skills show in his 5-0 record with a GAA of 1.60 and two shutouts. These boys are committed and focused and enjoying the game. We have such a great staff addition in Thor Rosback, he brings Junior experience to our team and is really settling in nicely. It was a great weekend for our group and now on to Victoria for a Thanksgiving tourney at Peninsula.”