The Sicamous Eagles put their first game of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) season in the win column against the Golden Rockets.
The Rockets scored the first goal of the game late in the first period and then followed up with another in the second. The momentum shifted as Ben Peterson put up a power play goal for the Eagles late in the second frame. Jakob McLean tied the game with a goal as the buzzer sounded the end of the period.
Rhett Walker gave the Eagles the lead less than 30 seconds into the third period. Brayden Haskell added a fourth goal and the score held until the final buzzer sounded. The final score was 4-2 for the Eagles.
Goaltender Tyler Verbeek, between the pipes for the Eagles, was credited with 32 saves for the night.
The Eagles’ off season and training camp brought a focus on speed to the team. Head coach Tyler Gunn said the team’s days of trying to bully their way to success are over. Although Gunn said physical play will always be a must, speed and skill are now the focus. To achieve this, the team has been skating twice a day to make up for time lost to the late season start and Gunn has been asking his players to push each other hard in practice.
“In order to be successful at this level every player needs to be quick enough to win puck races,” Gunn said.
The win in Golden was a good start to what has been made a unique season by the COVID-19 pandemic. Games will not have live spectators, but interested fans can stream at www.HockeyTV.com.
The Eagles will play their second game of season and their home opener against the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Tuesday Nov. 17 after the Eagle Valley News’ press deadline.
-With files from the KIJHL