PORT McNEILL—The North Island Eagles Midget side got its season off to an impressive start last weekend, coming back to cast aside Nanaimo T2 Saturday before steamrolling Comox T2 Sunday.
The weekend’s home doubleheader at Chilton Regional Arena kicked off a five-game tiering schedule for the Midgets, who will travel to Victoria for their remaining games.
And if it can emulate the form shown this weekend the Midgets side will prove tough competition for anyone.
A trio of second-period goals from George Walkus, Tyren Dustin and Darryl Coon overturned an early Nanaimo strike Saturday as the Eagles opened their season with a 3-1 win. Nyck Ruel took the win between the posts.
On Sunday, a composed, clinical and disciplined Eagles team dispatched Comox in emphatic fashion with a 14-0 win.
Sarah Case earned the shutout in goal and Dustin added four more goals to his tally in the victory.
The Eagles started the game with purpose and quickly confined the visitors behind their blue line, patiently moving the puck and frustrating the Comox side.
When Joshua Walkus’ slap shot from the right circle bulged the net with 8:23 on the clock the floodgates opened and the Eagles went 5-0 before the buzzer.
The home side once again dominated possession throughout a relatively quiet second period before exploding for an eight-goal final period.
The visitors’ best chances both came on breakaways in the second period. Case was equal to a one-on-one break, getting down to stop the shot on the post and later getting across the net on a two-on-one to see the Comox player push the backdoor chance wide of target.
Coach Aaron Hinton and assistant John Murgatroyd praised the players after the game on a “really impressive” performance.
“This is the best group of passing midgets I’ve seen,” said Murgatroyd. “I’ve coached a few midget sides but I’ve never seen a group that can move the puck like these guys. Obviously we’d like to play some better competition but if they pass like they did today they can compete with any team.”
The coach should get his wish next weekend when the Eagles hit the road against Victoria and Kerry Park, both of which should pose sterner competition for the North Island squad. But they’ll head into those games brimming with confidence after the home rout.
“I love to see beautiful hockey and that was some beautiful hockey today,” said Murgatroyd.
Saturday, September 20
Goals: George Walkus, Tyren Dustin, Darryl Coon
Assists: Cameron Grant (2), Dustin, Coon, Joshua Walkus
Goalie: Nyck Ruel
Eagles 14, Comox 0
Goals: Dustin (4), Grant (2), Joshua Walkus, Brandon Purdey, Nathan Sandeman, Alex Scott, George Walkus, Sean Pineda, Coon, Kenton Browne
Assists: Pineda (4), Scott (3), Grant (3), Joshua Walkus (2), Sandeman (2), Coon (2), George Walkus, Purdey
Goalie: Sarah Case