North Island Eagles peewee Jake Heller dives to chip away the puck during his team's game against Alberni Valley Saturday at Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

Peewees win at home, fall on road

PORT McNEILL - Eagles post 2-1 win over Alberni Valley Saturday before traveling to Comox and falling to Chiefs in VIHL placement game

PORT McNEILL — Even before playing its first game, the North Island Eagles peewee rep team had its share of ups and downs.

Last weekend, the Eagles had another of each.

On Saturday, the peewees rode the goaltending of Nyck Ruel and a tiebreaking goal by Josh Walkus to a 2-1 win over Alberni Valley at Chilton Regional Arena. On Sunday, the squad traveled to Comox where it suffered a penalty-plagued, 9-2 loss and also saw one of its few returning veterans, Jake Heller, lost in the third period to an arm injury.

A few weeks earlier, the peewees were faced with the possibility of scrapping the season due to a shortage of players. The program got commitments from enough players to enter the Vancouver Island Hockey League’s placement round with the idea of reviewing its viability following those five games.

Entering the weekend, it seemed the Eagles were ready to commit for the season.

“The kids decided they want to play,” coach Brian Heller said after Saturday’s comeback win over Alberni Valley. “The program’s a go.”

If the early results are any indication, they squad’s defence and goaltending will keep them competitive. The peewees split their two opening games on the road, allowed only two goals in each game.

On Saturday, Ruel was touched for a score in the first two minutes of play, but kept Alberni off the board the rest of the way as his mates commenced their comeback.

Kenton Browne got the Eagles even, converting off an assist from Tyrell Davidson late in the first period.

Walkus came through with the game-winner on a pretty individual play midway through the second. He carried the puck in along the right wing, crossed in front of the goal and deked before lifting a backhand top shelf.

Ruel, Browne and Davidson are among the few returnees, along with Jake Heller and Sean Pineda, on a team made up mostly of first-year rep players. Some of the newcomers are second-year peewees making the move from house play; others are stepping up from the atom house level.

The Eagles program has not fielded an atom development team for three years.

“You can see how quickly these kids are picking up the intensity, and they’re coming together well as a team,” Brian Heller said. “There are rough spots, of course, but I’m pleased with what I’ve seen so far.”

The first-year players agreed they like playing the rep game.

“It’s a lot faster and a lot harder,” said Brandon Tobin of Port Hardy. “It’s a lot funner.”

And it has its intangible benefits as well.

“You have more contact, and it’s way more serious,” said Tim Alfred of Port Hardy, who then reached up to adjust the knot on his tie. “Also, I like dressing up.”

 

Just Posted

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

Island Health issues press release regarding Port Alice Health Centre service changes

Island Health will be hosting a community meeting in Port Alice Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the rec centre.

Vancouver Island Regional Library wants to team up with the Town of Port McNeill to build a new multi-use facility

“A new library for the town, as you know, will quickly become an exciting hub of literacy”

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read