By Tom Best
Terrace Atom’s took top honours at a recent tournament run by the Smithers Minor Hockey Association, which came down to a hard fought final match with rivals Prince Rupert in which Terrace prevailed 2-1.
Terrace coach Shane Dejong wanted to thank organizers for hosting the contest and was more than pleased with the outcome.
“Our theme all weekend was to keep the feet moving. We had strong forechecking and backchecking,” he said.
According to DeJong, goalie Tyler Rothwell was “a rock in net” and only allowed seven goals all weekend.
Other standouts included Sean Devsik and Luke McGee, two solid second year players.
“These kids will be solid for years to come,” he said.
Local coach Tyler Petersen, who guides the Bulkley Valley Credit Union squad, was happy with tournament since it was well organized and there was no confusion about playing times.
“All of the games were close. There were barn burners all over the place and no massive blowouts,” he said.
He explained some of the challenges of coaching a developing group and how it went this weekend.
“On our team we have a wide range of skills and everybody on the team was contributing. Our forecheck was awesome. That made for opportunities for some of the weaker players. Our goal tenders were awesome. I’m pretty happy with improvement on the team since our last tournament,“ he said.
Smithers Minor Hockey Association better get used to more teams and bigger crowds. Last weekend’s tournament was a quite a draw for Atoms teams from the northwest and it seems like regardless of placing, all went home happy.
“We were glad to have all the teams, 10 altogether,” tournament organizer Danielle Nixon said, “and it was nice to have two teams from Prince George.”
At least one team from Prince George had attended in the past and when the call went out for entries, they got theirs in early.
She felt that everyone enjoyed themselves, especially with some of the different events that were offered such as the scavenger hunt and the raffle table.