Kitimat are the champions of the Atom House Tournament that took place in Prince Rupert over the weekend, going undefeated through four games to claim the minor hockey trophy.
The final match on Sunday afternoon also featured the home side Prince Rupert Red, who had put on a defensive showcase during the group stage by not allowing a single goal. This changed though when Kitimat Orange’s Lakin Mailloux netted a breakaway tally just 96 seconds into the game. Mailloux found the net again before the period was out to double Kitimat’s lead.
|Kitimat Orange’s Bryce Livingston looks for a play up ice in the tournament final. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
|Reid Kawaguchi snaps a shot on goal for Prince Rupert Red. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
Both teams came into the game sporting impressive offensive performances; Prince Rupert scoring 19 goals in their three group stage games while Kitmat had 16. Rupert Red finally dialed that offence up in the second period when Charlie Brown scored a goal under two minutes in. Kitimat grabbed the momentum back though when Joshua Gray scored halfway through the period to restore Kitimat’s two-goal lead.
Maxime Bonneau added a fourth goal for Kitimat right out of the final intermission, leaving the visitors in control for the rest of the game. Reid Kawaguchi scored a late consolation goal for Prince Rupert, but two minutes later it was Kitimat who was celebrating their championship.
|Kitimat Orange went undefeated to claim the championship. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
|Prince Rupert Red were the silver medalists following an impressive tournament. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
”The most important thing is they did it as a group. They really came together and worked together,” Doug Livingston, head coach of Kitimat Orange, said following the final buzzer. “There’s not many one man shows out there, there’s almost two assists on every goal, and that’s what you stress. It really came to fruition in this one.”
“The game’s never over until the final buzzer goes. You can only win the shift that you’re currently playing, give 100 per cent, and that’s what they did,” Livingston added. “They were in control in a lot of the games which was a huge benefit, it gave them confidence. They never took a step back, they kept going hard, I’m really happy with how this went down. Hats off to all the coaches in our organization too.”
Kitmat grabbed another medal in the third place game, with Kitimat Purple downing Terrace Red 7-5 to claim bronze. Chase Wakita and Logan Pankhurst had a pair of goals each; Panhurst scoring the game winner and final two goals for his team to ensure the contest went in his side’s favour. Foster Armstrong scored all five goals for Terrace Red as they settled for fourth place.
Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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