After several years of accompanying some of his players as an assistant coach for spring hockey, Port Hardy’s Marty Gage has taken the next step.
Gage has formed his own spring club, the Jets, with the bulk of the squad made up of a half-dozen of the North Island Eagles team he coached in the recent winter season.
Those players include Rhys Dutcyvich, Payton Laming, Ryan Patterson, Mathew Saunders, Liem Wadhams and his son, Luke Gage. Other players hail from Campbell River, Courtenay and Powell River.
“After three seasons of coaching for the West Coast Storm, I decided to embark on the journey of starting a spring team,” Gage said.
The name is particularly suited to the team, which practices in Courtenay, just up the road from the Canadian Air Force base in Comox.
Fellow Port Hardy coach Shawn Patterson, who also coached with the North Island Eagles peewees this season, serves as assistant along with Orval Harris of Courtenay.
“It’s an awesome group of talented players from four communities, coming together to play the game we love,” Gage said. “It’s been a lot work, but well worth the while.”
Gage also credited the sponsorship donations of several local businesses and family members, who made the start-up possible.
The team has played exhibition games and competed in its first tournament.