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

7 Mile Landfill operations tender closes October

Taxes covering the landfill have not increased over the past 15 years and are not expected to soon.

NorthIsle starts drilling in Pemberton Hills area after negotiating deal with Freeport

Mining industry one step closer to a revitalization after farm-out agreement

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s open house a blazing hit

PHFR Lt. Harding explained that the organization is always looking for more recruits.

Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nation drafts first phase of passive housing project

The housing project will have 96 residential units for low-income families.

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

A B.C. campaign to give municipalities input into marijuana advertising

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

Port Hardy municipal election candidate Janet Dorward’s profile

“My passion for Port Hardy is about ensuring the best standards of living,” Dorward said.

Port McNeill municipal election candidate Matt Martin’s profile

“I believe Port McNeill can become an even more vibrant and successful community,” said Martin.

Most Read