PORT ALICE—Coltton Slater was an unlikely source to kick-start the North Island Eagles midget offence Saturday.
But the defenseman buried a point shot for the go-ahead goal and followed with another shot redirected for a score by teammate Robert Cahill as the midgets pulled away for a 6-2 Vancouver Island Hockey League victory over the Kerry Park Islanders.
The Eagles started slowly and trailed 1-0 after surrendering a goal just 2:28 into the opening period while the visitors skated with a 5-on-3 advantage.
But Chad Bell slipped home a backhand midway through the period to tie the score, and Slater’s goal 7:04 into the second started a string of four straight Eagles goals as the hosts took control of the contest.
“The first 10 minutes those guys came out hard on us,” midget coach Rob Brittain said of the Islanders. “Once they settled down and stayed out of the penalty box, the boys played well.”
Indeed, over the final 40 minutes, the Eagles dominated in special teams play. The midgets scored four power-play goals and capped the scoring on a shorthanded tally by Taylor Logan after Kerry Park pulled within 5-2 with five minutes remaining.
“We have been practicing on (special teams),” said Brittain. “Everything we practiced they put into play. And a couple extra fancy things we didn’t teach ’em.”
Cahill finished with two goals and two assists and Mitchell Walker added a goal for the Eagles. Ethan Shaw and Bell each had two assists and Tyson Cadwallader, Riley Browne, Malcolm Browne, Slater and Walker each had single helpers.
Stevyn Ruel picked up the win in net for the Eagles, who must turn around and travel to Kerry Park this weekend for a road rematch with the Islanders.
“They’re gonna come out guns blazing,” Brittain said. “We’ve gotta be ready right from puck drop.”