The North Island Bantam Eagles definitely showed no mercy to the Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.
The game was not close at all right from the first drop of the puck, as the Eagles went on to hammer the Clippers with 13 unanswered goals over three periods, courtesy of Josh Nielsen, David Klatt, Tyler Roper (x2), Brandon Brotchie, Kale Hunt (x2), Kai Verbrugge, William Grant, Mannie Browne, Cole Klughart, Tristan Mardell, and Liam Norman. Assists went to Hunt (x2), Klatt (x3), Mardell (x2), Verbrugge, Roper, Klughart, Nielsen, and Grant.
Coach Ryan Handley noted after the game that while the score ended up being quite lopsided, he was “not happy with our first half — I thought we looked uninspired and lacked the heart and hustle we needed to play with.”
Handley added that he and the other coaches “let them know at ice clean our play was unacceptable and heartless and that we needed to get back to what has made us successful.”
The Eagles took the speech to heart, and Handley felt their second half “was much better — when you work hard and play determined, good things happen. I don’t like getting on them like we had to, but sometimes it’s a wake up call.”
Handley said the Eagles started to “move the puck, use our speed, and go to the net with purpose. We had 11 different goal scorers on Saturday, which is a testament to our balance, and when that many kids can contribute, it creates a lot of confidence.”
The Eagles are currently undefeated, going 7-0 in preseason tiering, and are now 3-0 in league play.
The Eagles will be going back to work this week to prepare for a Remembrance Day tournament in Nanaimo where they will play teams from Whitehorse, North Delta, and Surrey.