The North Island Atom Eagles are on a quest for a perfect regular season.
After a disastrous run in preseason tiering where they won just one game, the Eagles ended up seeded in VIAHA’s Tier 4 division, which turned out to be the perfecct place for them, as they went on to rattle off six straight victories against some pretty tough teams.
Knocking on their doorstep however was the Victoria Racquet Club B2 Kings, who were sitting in second place with a solid 5-3 record.
A league game between the two top teams was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy, and it was one for the ages, as the Eagles came out of the dressing room ready to go and pounded on the Kings with a relentless onslaught for three straight periods.
The action started early on with Linden Tomasi stealing the puck, skating in and firing a low shot past the Kings’ goaltender Oliver Zolis at 10:37 of the first period.
The Kings then returned fire with a goal of their own at 4:11 thanks to Edwin Gourlay, which was assisted by Luke Lund, but after that it was all Eagles.
Captain Axen Peterson fired the puck home at 3:49 and then again with 41 seconds left to make it 3-1 going into the second period. Assists on the plays went to Tomasi and Silas Aman.
Peterson continued to dominate the game, scoring with 44 seconds left in the second period (assist on the play going to Caleb Lansdowne), and then scoring twice more in the third at 14:47 and 11:11, assists going to Levi McCart and Rylan Turgeon.
After that it was Tomasi’s turn to find the twine, which he did at 10:42 and 6:12 (assist on the second goal going to Peterson) to make it 8-1.
Johan Töpfer then converted at 3:15, before Lund managed to knock the puck past Eagles’ goaltender Drake Brooks to make it 9-2.
With time running down, Turgeon skated in and blasted a shot top shelf with 33 seconds left to mercifully bring the game to a 10-2 close.
“This team has come so far this year, from a tough time in tiering to where we are now – the kids are all playing amazing,” said head coach Shay Peterson. “Everyone skated hard and won the small battles, and I’m especially happy with how well the kids are passing and looking for open ice. All of us coaches have had a lot of fun watching them grow and learn the game.”
With the blowout win in hand, the Eagles improved their Tier 4 league record to a still perfect 7-0, with 48 goals for and only 11 goals against.
While the Eagles still have six games left to play, they are definitely in the hunt to win the league banner, which would be a pretty great feat for a team that struggled early on to score goals during preseason tiering action.