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

Port Alice gets two RCMP officers stationed in the village

“The second Port Alice RCMP position has been filled”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

Most Read