North Island Eagles midget Ethan Shaw levels Alberni Valley's Daryl Defraitus during the Eagles' 5-3 win over the Bulldogs Saturday at Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

Midgets level Alberni in home finale

PORT McNEILL-North Island Eagles start fast, roll to league win over Bulldogs

PORT McNEILL—North Island Eagles midget coach Rob Brittain has always liked the makeup of his team. And it’s even better when the entire team is suited up.

Forward Robert Cahill returned from a three-game absence to score the game’s first two goals and captain Robbie Heavenor returned to the blue line following a lengthy illness as the Eagles rolled to a 5-3 Vancouver Island Hockey League win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday at Chilton Regional Arena.

It was the final home game of the regular season for the midgets, who will wrap up Division 3 league play with road games the next two weeks before the playoff schedule is set.

“They jumped out pretty well,” Brittain said after his squad rolled to a 4-0 lead and dominated most of the game before the Bulldogs closed the gap with a pair of late goals. “Some of the guys were a little heavy, though. One of ’em told me he gained eight pounds over the holidays.”

So, a final conditioning tune-up may be in order before the postseason. Heavenor, who has finally gained back the nearly 15 pounds he lost during a bout with mononucleosis, was a welcome addition on defence even if he still needs to build muscle strength.

And Cahill, who missed one game to suspension and two more to a family vacation, added some punch on offence as the midgets kicked off 2012 with a win.

He scored the first goal by skating in alone and shooting from the slot after teammate Chad Bell had poked free an Alberni clearing attempt with 3:31 left in first period. Cahill made it 2-0 in the second after the rebound of an Ethan Shaw backhand kicked right to his stick and he sent it back in.

That score held until the mid-game ice cleaning, when Brittain switched goalie Stevyn Ruel for Troy Cadwell

Shaw and Tyson Cadwallader added goals following intermission to push the lead to 4-0.

Alberni got on the board with a redirect of a point shot on the power play in the final minute of the second, and closed to 4-2 on Liam Mcleod’s wrist shot from low in the circle after he beat the Eagles’ defence on the corner.

But the Eagles continued to limit the visitors’ opportunities by controlling play, and took a 5-2 lead when Malcolm Richards fed Eric Kennelly in the slot for a one-timer with 1:21 left.

“The whole team, I thought, did really well,” said Brittain. “We’ve been working on our breakout and they did a great job with that. And our penalty kill was good — which we needed.”

Brittain added that discipline will be a point of focus going into the final weeks of the season, so that the midgets can avoid those shorthanded situations.

“Overall, we’ve got to work on our power play a little bit, and just fine-tune the special teams play in general. But the guys are playing well right now.”

 

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tier 3 Bantam Championships

“The packed arena and electricity within was fantastic.”

Port Hardy RCMP issues warning about recent overdose

“Our primary concern is public safety. We are urging the public to be aware of what is circulating.”

Port Hardy RCMP looking for volunteers who are interested in public safety

“The volunteer program will include community and crime prevention programs”

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read