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.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Sports Talk with Tyson: North Island Bantam Eagles are ready for provincials

Sports Talk with Tyson is back this week with an indepth look at the North Island Bantam Eagles.

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Thunderbird movie films in downtown Port Hardy

A film crew of approximately 30-40 people has shut down part of Market Street in Port Hardy.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

MLA Claire Trevena blasts Island Health for neglecting North Island villages, Island Health responds back with statement

MLA Claire Trevena wrote a critical letter about Island Health’s plans for Port Alice and Alert Bay.

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Judge denies requests from Calgary couple charged in son’s death

David and Collet Stephan wanted $4 million to pay for past and future legal bills

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

More than 100,000 toxic toys named in Canada-wide recall

Plastic doll contains levels of phthalates over allowable limit and may pose chemical hazard

Most Read