Liem Wadhams stays with the puck after going to the ice in a duel with Alex Jalbert of the Comox Chiefs during their game Saturday in Port McNeill.

Atoms take heart

Eagles atom coach finds positives after defeat by the Comox Valley Chiefs.

PORT McNEILL—The matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Vancouver Island Hockey League’s atom development Division 3 standings turned out to be a one-sided affair.

But while most coaches have trouble finding the positives following a 10-4 defeat, Eagles coach Marty Gage was encouraged by some signs from his squad’s loss to the unbeaten and league-leading Comox Valley Chiefs Saturday.

“They’re a good team, no doubt about it,” Gage said of the Tier II Chiefs. “But it was a good learning experience. You don’t learn by winning all your games.”

Going into Saturday’s contest at Chilton Region Arena, the little Tri-Port atom squad had been doing plenty of that. The Eagles were 4-0-1 in league games and on a roll after dispatching Cowichan Valley 8-3 the previous week in Port Alice.

But Comox came in with a perfect 5-0 record and had outscored opponents 28-7, never allowing more than two goals in a game.

That went by the boards when Mathew Saunders and Luke Gage scored second-period goals, both assisted by Rhys Dutcyvich, and Payton Laming added back-to-back goals in the third period to earn player-of-the-game honours for the Eagles.

“Sometimes after a loss you feel disappointed,” Marty Gage said. “I don’t feel that way.”

The real trouble for the atoms came during a short stretch late in the first period, when Comox turned a narrow 2-0 lead into a 6-0 advantage by taking advantage of a series of defensive breakdowns by the hosts.

Three of those scores came on breakaway goals by players who slipped behind the North Island defenders. Two more came following turnovers in their own end that left goalie Kayden Jones to fend for himself against the swarming attackers.

“When you play a team that strong, the little mistakes are going to hurt you,” Gage said. “But I was impressed that the kids showed a lot of resiliency and never gave up.”

After the big Comox outburst, the teams were even down the stretch, playing 4-4 over the final 35 minutes.

“I don’t think they’re unbeatable,” Gage said of the Chiefs.

Ryan Patterson and Liem Wadhams each had two assists for the Eagles, on the goals by Laming.

 

Just Posted

Climate change panel hosted at North Island Secondary School

The panel focused on combating fear, finding solutions, and encouraging youth.

People’s Party of Canada plan to have a candidate in the North Island-Powell River riding

Elections Canada formally recognized the North Island—Powell River PPC Association

NVIATS takes over NIEFS space in Thunderbird Mall

“We were approached by NIEFS, they’re going to be downsizing”

Port Hardy Reigns compete in Nanaimo at Island Championships

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for our youth in Port Hardy”

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Sports Talk with Tyson: First round of the season at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club

“I usually golf with my best friend Brian, and it’s always entertaining whenever we hit the links”

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A Cluxewe sunset

“I’ll walk the beach when the sun is just starting to emit that warm afternoon glow”

Most Read