Two of the Northwest zone’s atom hockey powerhouses met in a final clash for all the bragging rights last weekend as the Prince Rupert RE/MAX “atoMcs” met the Houston Flyers in Prince Rupert’s 2014 Atom House Tournament on Sunday afternoon.
And a five-goal outburst at the start of the game was enough to propel RE/MAX to the championship title with an 8-4 win over their Flyers competitors.
“It was lots of close games, so the kids worked really hard,” said RE/MAX coach Vince Aceto after the win.
“We had a mixed batch of some kids that are new to the game and kids that have been playing awhile and they really gelled. They really brought it together and every kid worked hard every shift, game in, game out.”
Noah Aceto and Jonathan Pirillo stole the show for RE/MAX as both players notched hat tricks, while Gavin Magnusson and Kaiden Munroe scored singles for Rupert.
In net for the atoMcs was the stellar Jacob Gordon, who didn’t allow a goal until two minutes into the second period when the score was 5-0 RE/MAX.
Noah got things going 2:30 into the first period with a quick goal on a breakaway to open the scoring, and he even closed the scoring as he scored RE/MAX’s eighth and final tally with a shot high over the blocker of Houston goalie Karsyn Niven.
Pirillo then added to the lead when he streaked down the left wing and sniped a shot over the glove of Niven. Magnusson followed that up with a shot on a rebound, and then had to fight off getting the wind knocked out of him as he collided with a Flyer right after.
Two more goals by Pirillo made it 5-0 thirty seconds into the second frame.
After a goal by a Flyer, Munroe deked out the Flyers’ defence and slid one home for the atoMcs’ sixth goal.
Later, Noah would score shorthanded and then once more to finalize the 8-4 win.
Gordon had some highlight-reel saves including a nicely-done poke-check on a Houston breakaway in the third period.
Kadin Melanson and Hunter Guy were rock-steady on defence, as were Pirillo and Hayden Wilson.
Jaden Andreesen got off a nice one-timer that was stopped in the third period, and Robert Christenson, Arjen Bains, Cameron Dendys and Spencer MacDonald also had great games in the championship victory.
Kitimat took home third-place honours with Prince Rupert NCSG grabbing fourth. Terrace won fifth-place, beating out the all-girls Prince Rupert Helijet squad as they took sixth. Smithers and Hazelton rounded out seventh- and eighth-place respectively.