PORT HARDY—The North Island Eagles took back-to-back wins over Kerry Park in emphatic fashion last weekend, posting a 7-2 win Saturday in Port Alice and blanking the visitors 7-0 Sunday in Port Hardy.
Sunday’s scoreline was a fair reflection of the game on the ice, but up until the final six minutes the Eagles were held to a somewhat precarious 2-0 lead, thanks in large part to some top-notch stopping by the visitors’ netminder.
When the Islanders started looking for hits in the closing minutes the home side stayed focussed on scoring, and the discipline paid off in spades as the Eagles racked up five goals in three minutes to run away with the game.
“I thought we were very disciplined; they played to the system, stuck to the plan every shift and got the reward at the end there with a few goals,” said Eagles coach John Murgatroyd. “Their goalie was superb today — when you’re 1-0 halfway through a game you’ve been dominating it’s easy to get frustrated.”
Brandon Purdey opened the scoring midway through the first period and his lone marker separated the sides until the third period, despite chances at both ends.
Kerry Park struggled to create chances against an Eagles side that always seemed to have an extra gear. When they did find a shot, the Islanders were frustrated by Nick Ruel, who earned the shutout in goal.
Tyren Dustin doubled the tally in the third period before the floodgates opened with Daryll Coon, Dustin, Thomas Symons, Alex Scott and Nathan Sandeman slamming home in a devastating three-minute period.
“That was probably the best game of the season today,” said Murgatroyd. The side played in an exhibition tournament in Port Alberni last weekend, the coach explained, and were able to carry the lessons from that competition into league play. “Alberni didn’t go so well,” he said. “That’s what happens when you don’t play as a team but it was probably the best thing that could have happened. We had a long talk about discipline and got the reward today.”
Saturday saw the Eagles cruise out to a 7-2 win against Kerry Park in Port Alice.
The visitors struck first with the only goal in the first period but the Eagles bagged two in the second period and ramped up to outscore their opponents 5-1 in the third.
Purdey and Symons got two apiece in the win, with Sandeman, Nick Klein-Beekman and Kenton Browne also finding the net.