Atoms win one at home; Novices on the road

?We plan on trying a number of different line combinations in order to find the best chemistry of players that we can field on the ice? said Coach Dan Golob at the pre-game press conference. The Dawson Creek Cougars came to town on Jan 22 to face our own Smokey Blue stars.

Matthew Schribar got us off to a good start by scoring the game?s first goal just past two minutes after the puck dropped. Jay Kelly knocked home a rebound to put us up 2-0. Then with five minutes to go in the period, Jay stripped the defenseman of the puck at the point, then walked into the slot and sailed a wrist shot over the goalie?s trapper for a 3-0 lead. ?Tumbler Ridge dominated the first period by carrying most of the play to the visitors?, noted analyst Ian Leach. ?The puck was in their end most of the time, with little offensive counter attack?.

Things turned around in the second period, as after the short break, the Cougars woke up. 30 seconds in, the Stars goaltender Aaron Wylie made a great save on the first shot, but couldn?t stop the rebound as Dawson Creek got their first goal. Shortly after that, Aaron foiled a breakaway, but the Cougars got another breakaway and made no mistake to cut the lead to one goal. Hard skating forward Eric Golob drew his second penalty for his team, but the power play produced nothing, and the period ended 3-2 for TR.

The third period saw DC coming out strong and tied the game at three. But a minute and 20 seconds later Jared Wylie slammed home a rebound to regain the lead for his team. The game went end to end until with just under four minutes to go, Jay Kelly completed his hat trick when he drilled a shot from the slot that the goalie got a piece of, but it managed to just trickle over the goal line for a 5-3 score. That?s where it ended.

?When the teams are evenly matched, like these two are, it sure makes it a good game for the kids, and spectators alike?, noted hockey mom Shelly Leach.

While the Atoms had their Sunday matinee, the Novice Team traveled to Hudsons Hope for a weekend tournament, in search of their first win of the season. The Novices play 3-20 minute straight time periods. Game one saw the team?s best effort to date, as Caleb Cyr scored a goal, and Chris McKay had a pair, as the game was tied at three with five minutes to go against the Chetwynd Snipers. A couple of late Chetwynd goals put it out of reach, as they dropped a 5-3 decision. ?The boys gave it everything they had, and they did just awesome?, commented coach Paul Payne. The game MVP was Chris McKay. ?Goaltender Brandon Crispin did an amazing job between the pipes?, added the coach.

The second game had Colt Switzer in net, as they faced a team from Ft Nelson. Once again the team came up short, but not for lack of effort. Game MVP Colin MacEachern earned his award through his hard work.

The third game was played against a dominant team from Dawson Creek, and although our boys didn?t win, they shaved seven goals off the score from the last time they played this same team. Matt Cooper played net. Caleb Cyr won the game MVP award. Five-year-old Matthew Payne received an award for the player who had the ?most fun on the ice?. ?This team has grown leaps and bounds from when they first stepped on the ice, and it is a lot of fun to see them get better with every period played?, noted coach Payne. ?I can feel a win coming soon?. Good job coach, keep up the good work.