Front row, from left: Madison Batch, Kai Hyatt, McKenna Harris, Mackinley Whalen and Akira Issac. Middle row: Shanna Speck, Dexter Manrique, Kelsey Grothen, Elizabeth Bettenson, Emma Deagle and Kaylie Riecker. Back row: Coaches Andrew Riecker, Cory Batch and Bill Deagle.

Campbell River’s Atom Hurricanes bring home silver from Richmond

Team went undefeated in round-robin to secure spot in final – a rematch against Abbotsford

After going 11-0-1 in their regular season and winning the league banner and as well being victorious in the 2017 Female Atom Island Playoffs, the Atom Hurricanes headed to the lower mainland March 24-26 for the 20th annual Richmond Ice Classic Female Hockey Tournament.

The girls played in a higher tier this year in the tournament in order to challenge themselves further.

Game one took place Friday, March 24 vs. Washington. Kai Hyatt got on the scoreboard first with an assist from defenseman Akira Isaac. Kaylie Riecker followed up soon after with a goal and Emma Deagle got the helper. Deagle took a long range wrist shot that found the back of the net in the second frame with an assist from Riecker and Elizabeth Bettenson and in the final period, Mackinley Whalen beat the buzzer with a break-away goal. Washington had no answer due to strong defense, including blocked shots by Shanna Speck and great zone clearing from Issac and Madison Batch and 4-0 would be the final tally. Goalie Mckenna Harris worked hard and recorded her first shut-out of the season. Deagle was awarded the MVP honors.

On Saturday, the Hurricanes faced Seattle in the morning. Both teams scored in the first frame, with Hyatt being Campbell River’s scorer. That would be it for Seattle, but Whalen would pot two more with nice assists from Hyatt before the game was through. 3-1 was the final score in this very physical game. Issac was given the nod for MVP.

On Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes faced the home team, the Richmond Ravens. Dexter Manrique scored first off of a rebound from Riecker. Deagle potted the next goal and Whalen scored on a breakaway and the Campbell River squad were up 3-0 at the end of the second frame. The Ravens had an answer finally in the third period with two goals but the Hurricanes added three more with Whalen scoring with a helper from Hyatt, Manrique potting another after hard work from Riecker and Deagle and then Deagle scoring with helpers from Riecker and Manrique. Speck skated hard and she and Issac did their best to clear the zone. 6-2 was the final score. Whalen was given the MVP honors.

The Hurricanes had already earned their spot in the final when they faced the other 3-0 team, Abbotsford in their fourth round-robin game Sunday Morning. The play was fairly even in the first period with no score, but the Hurricanes put the pressure on and Hyatt got on the scoreboard early in the second with a beautiful behind-the-net pass from Whalen after a feed from Issac. Abbotsford soon answered back with two quick goals but then Speck fed a beautiful pass to Deagle who buried the one-timer and it would again be a draw at the end of the second with a 2-2 score. Whalen would score the game-winner late in the third on a partial break-away after nice breakout passes from Deagle and Riecker. Batch did a great job limiting Abbotsford’s speed and keeping the puck in at the blue line. Goalie Harris was given the MVP award.

The Hurricanes were the only team to be undefeated in the round-robin and met the strong Abbotsford team again in the Finals Sunday afternoon. The ‘Canes had tired legs in the game, due to a short bench and an unfortunate middle-of-the-night fire alarm incident in their hotel the previous night and found themselves down 2-0 by the end of the first, even after many nice saves by Harris. They fought back in the second and after a third Abbotsford goal, they got one of their own, punched in by Whalen. Bettenson played a strong defensive game throughout and the Campbell River team put a great deal of pressure on in the third period, including many chances from forward Kelsey Grothen but the team just couldn’t get by the strong Abbotsford goalie and 3-1 would be the Final score and the team would have to settle for a Silver medal. This would be the Hurricanes first loss of the season but it was a fantastic one overall for this group of hockey-loving girls.