PORT HARDY—The North Island Eagles midgets side maintained its unbeaten run in the preseason with back-to-back home wins against Nanaimo at Port Hardy’s Don Cruikshank Memorial Arena last weekend.
The midgets ran out comfortable 5-3 winners Saturday before showing some grit to overturn a one-goal deficit in Sunday’s 2-1 victory.
The visitors took the lead Sunday in the closing seconds of an even first period, when Michael Schnablegger stuffed the puck home on the back post after Eagles goalie Sarah Case was unsighted during a scramble on the right.
The home side went close several times before the ice-cleaning break, including a long-range bomb that rattled the upright.
The Eagles came out of the locker room fired up and needed just 12 seconds to tie it up, Kenton Browne providing the touch after Tyren Dustin broke down the right off the puck drop.
The equalizer kicked both sides into high gear and opened the door to an increasingly physical matchup between the sides, the third period seeing a combined 22 of the game’s 32 penalty minutes.
Dustin turned from provider to goalscorer to give the Eagles the edge. After soaking up a penalty the home side surged forward at full strength and Dustin was the first to react to a loose puck in front of the Nanaimo goal, forcing it past the pads of the visitors’ goalie for the winning score.
On Saturday the Eagles fell behind to a first-period strike but Dustin evened the scoring soon after.
The visitors added another before the buzzer before goals from Josh Walkus, Daryll Coon, George Walkus and Brandon Purdey helped them coast out to a 5-2 lead, Nanaimo grabbing a late consolation.
Divisional placing and scheduling will take place this weekend, with league action expected to begin the weekend of October 25.