The awards have been distributed and the ice gone out from North Island hockey arenas, but a hardy group of atom development players and coaches have continued their season well into the spring.
Joined by coaches Marty Gage and Shawn Patterson of Port Hardy, five players from the North Island Eagles atom development program helped the 02 Storm squad to a 6-6 tie with Nanaimo’s 03 Trappers in a recent exhibition game in the West Coast Elite Hockey Academy in Courtenay.
Rhys Dutcyvich of Port McNeill capped the comeback, scoring the tying goal in the final seconds after the Storm pulled their goalie.
Luke Gage of Port Hardy scored the team’s fifth goal to bring the squad within one. Another Port Hardy skater, Liem Wadhams, also found the net in the tie.
“It’s nice to see the team coming together quickly and the boys from the North Island contributing,” said Marty Gage, the Eagles atom development head coach who is part of the coaching staff, along with Patterson, for the 02 Storm Club.
The game was part of preparations for the 2012 Mainland Cup, held last weekend, and the Challenge Cup, scheduled for May 18-20.
Also playing for the Storm are forward Ryan Patterson and defenseman Braden Walkus of Port Hardy.
Patterson and Dutcyvich each contributed assists in the exhibition game.