Peewees take momentum into playoffs

PORT HARDY — Their early season struggles behind them, the North Island Eagles rep peewees will carry some momentum with them into their next struggle — the Vancouver Island Hockey League playoffs.

Eagles peewee goalie Nyck Ruel makes a pad save in Sunday's win over Comox.

PORT HARDY — Their early season struggles behind them, the North Island Eagles rep peewees will carry some momentum with them into their next struggle — the Vancouver Island Hockey League playoffs.

Matthew Cahill scored a hat trick and Brandon Purdey tallied the game-winner Sunday as the peewees closed out the regular season with a 4-2 victory over Comox at Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

The win was the team’s third straight to close out the league season and lifted the Eagles (8-16, 4-6) into third place in Tier 3 after starting the season 1-6 in league play.

The peewees will open the playoffs at home, with a 2 p.m. game Saturday against Saanich in Port Hardy.

“They’re playing well,” peewee coach Dan Wilson said. “Now it’s just a case of fine-tuning the machine for the next season (playoffs).”

The peewees, who very nearly missed entering a team in the league due to low turnout during last fall’s tryouts, began the season with eight skaters fresh from atoms and/or new to contact hockey.

The Eagles went out and won just four of their first 19 games, but the tide turned when the calendar flipped to 2011, and the squad has now won four of its last five entering the postseason.

Cahill scored back-to-back goals in the first period Sunday to put the Eagles ahead to stay.

After Comox scored midway through the second, Purdey charged in from the right boards and buried a shot from the low slot while being knocked to the ice at 14:32 of the period. Cahill pushed the lead to 4-1 on a backhand at 16:38.

Comox got one more goal, on a redirect in traffic in the opening minute of the third period, but Eagles goalie Nyck Ruel and the defence shut the door for the rest of the period.

The peewees’ playoff run will continue Feb. 5 in Port Alice, with a 1 p.m. game against Victoria. They will then travel for games Feb. 12 and 13 at Juan de Fuca and Kerry Park.

Just Posted

PRACC Chair Fred Robertson happy with how windmill blade display turned out

“Rotary really stepped up, which was excellent.”

Island Foods renovates bottle depot and cans old bottle return system

“I don’t want people to spend the whole day here,” said Angela Taylor on Port McNeill’s bottle depot.

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Sointula Resource Centre to hold fundraising play

The play will “grab people’s attention” says Stephanie Rockman.

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read