North Island Eagles Ryan Patterson and Payton Laming celebrate Laming's third-period goal in Sunday's atom development victory over Sooke Sunday in Port McNeill.

Late rally lifts atoms to victory

Atoms take win over Sooke Thunderbirds after roller-coaster game.

PORT McNEILL—When the Sooke Thunderbirds charged from behind to tie Saturday’s atom development hockey game in Port Alice, the host North Island Eagles had no response.

The next day, the Eagles displayed an impressive counterpunch.

Luke Gage scored to snap a tie in the last minute and a half, and the Eagles went on to a 9-7 Vancouver Island Hockey League win over Sooke at Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

In Port Alice Saturday, Gage’s goal at 4:34 of the third period gave the Eagles a 5-2 advantage. But Sooke responded with a natural hat trick from Chris Piatkowski over the final 8:49 to earn the 5-5 draw.

In Sunday’s see-saw rematch, the visitors again fought from behind, even taking a 7-6 lead before the Eagles rallied.

“A real roller-coaster ride,” Eagles coach Marty Gage said. “My favourite part was how they showed a lot of heart.

“When a team starts to gain momentum, it can be hard to stop that momentum. Today, our guys never stopped fighting.”

With the score knotted 7-7, Luke Gage, knocked to his knees just in front of the crease, punched home a rebound off a Rhys Dutcyvich shot from the wing for the game-winner at 18:33.

Payton Laming added an insurance score on another point-blank rebound shot with just 55 seconds remaining.

Mathew Saunders capped his hat trick with the tying goal at 17:12 of the third, ending a 15-minute scoreless drought that saw the visitors turn a 6-3 deficit into a 7-6 lead with four unanswered goals.

Laming and Ryan Patterson both finished with two goals, Rhys Dutcyvich had a goal and four assists and Luke Gage had a goal and two assists in the win.

First-year goalie Kayden Jones earned the win in net. Laming, Patterson and Keenan Saunders, who was named player of the game, each added assists.

“I can’t say enough about the passing,” Marty Gage said. “This was the most unselfish game we’ve played.”

After spotting Sooke an early lead Saturday in Port Alice, the Eagles got a goal from Rhys Dutcyvich in the last 15 seconds of the opening period to force a 1-1 tie, and that score carried into the second half of the contest.

After the Zamboni break, both teams got busy. Gage and Liem Wadhams notched goals in the latter part of the second period to stake the hosts to a 3-1 lead before Sooke answered with just 17 seconds left in the period to make it 3-2.

The Eagles padded their advantage when Ryan Patterson scored off a Keenan Saunders assist just 25 seconds into the third, and Gage made it 5-2 on his unassisted score just more than four minutes later.

That set up Sooke’s big comeback over the final nine minutes.

“These teams are very evenly matched,” Marty Gage said. “That’s the way it should be.”

Mathew Saunders, Keenan Saunders (no relation) and Laming each had assists in the game.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Decor details: Professional rental and design businesses deliver it all

Stop by the Comox Community Centre on Jan. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.!

North Island Bantam Eagles ice Clippers, clinch Tier 2 league banner

“We will enjoy the moment for now, but… it’s back to work on Tuesday”

Upgrades to Port Hardy arena hinge on grant funding

The district is waiting on grant approval from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure program.

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: North Island beauty

“don’t forget to look up and observe the beauty of the whole North Island”

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Most Read