Five different players scored as the North Island Eagles midget rep hockey team wrapped up the preseason with a 5-2 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in an exhibition game Sunday at Port Alberni.
Robbie Heavenor, Ethan Shaw, Eric Kennelly, Thomas Coon and Chad Bell all found the net for the Eagles, who begin the regular season this weekend after rolling to a 6-1 record in tiering and exhibition games.
The midgets have been placed in Division 3 in the Vancouver Island Hockey League, which includes three programs from the southern tip of the Island (Saanich, Victoria and Sooke) along with Nanaimo.
The regular season kicks off this weekend with the team’s first long road trip, to Sooke Saturday and Victoria Sunday. The midgets may get help from Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association in setting up exhibition games against higher-tiered Division 2 teams to give them a stronger challenge during the season. The Eagles coaching staff had hoped to be placed in Division 2 for the regular season, but instead were placed in the third of four competitive divisions to be contested this season.
Sunday’s win came despite a short bench of only 12 players, due to a pair of suspensions from the previous week’s penalty-filled win over Nanaimo, one injury and one player missing due to travel.
Riley Browne collected three assists in the victory, with single assists going to Zach Swanson, Brandon Purdey, Coltton Slater, George Walkus and Bell.
The Eagles jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Alberni closed within 3-2 on a goal at 4:16 of the second period, but the midgets shut down the hosts the rest of the way and added insurance goals in the second and third periods.