PORT McNEILL—The North Island Eagles bantam side seemed to have two gears against Juan de Fuca in Saturday’s league matchup — laid back and flat out.
After spending much of the first period in first gear and going two down, the side came out firing on all cylinders in the second and raced off to a 6-4 win.
After a well-worked opener gave JdF the lead, the home side were a little unlucky to slip two down when a pass deflected past Eagles netminder Michael McLaughlin.
But the Eagles looked a different side at the start of the second period, chasing every loose puck and piling the pressure on the visitors. Devin White in particular led the charge in the opening minutes, hounding the Grizzlies’ defensemen at every turn.
The Eagles got their reward through David Charlie’s strike, but seemed to step off the gas again and the visitors went into the ice-cleaning break 3-1 ahead.
The high intensity returned after the break and the Eagles quickly grabbed control of the game.
Evan Fox struck on a power play and then tied the score with a spectacular solo effort, snatching the puck out of the air in the centre circle and driving past three defenders to score.
Juan de Fuca replied with a fine strike of its own but the Eagles regained control in the third through a pair of Tanner Roberts goals.
Joshua Borg added the winner for the home side, sliding across the slot to put back a rebound off a White drive.
“The kids played a great game,” said assistant coach Greg Fox. “Before the game we asked them what it takes to be successful; we wrote it down and they did it — they did what they told themselves to do. There was lots of support, lots of backchecking, lots of unselfish play.”