The Quesnel Sky-Hi Atom Selects team pose with their silver medals after placing second during a home tournament on Feb. 9. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Atoms shine silver in Quesnel

The Atom Selects hockey team went undefeated during round-robin play but fell short in the final

The Quesnel Sky-Hi Scaffolding Atom Selects won silver at their home tournament in Quesnel over the Feb. 7-9 weekend.

The seven-team tournament saw athletes, families and fans from Prince George, Williams Lake, Fort St. John, Kamloops, 100 Mile House and Quesnel fill the West Fraser Centre.

On Friday afternoon, Quesnel faced off against the Prince George Blue Thunderboltz. The game was a low-scoring defensive battle, but Reid Powell and Colton Campbell would each score for the home team, as they edged out their opponents 2-1.

Quesnel would next be matched up against 100 Mile House on Friday evening, in what would turn out to be the complete opposite of the afternoon game.

Both teams would show off their offensive prowess, as they took turns lighting up of the scoreboard. It would be Quesnel who would take control of the game, as Marek Lowndes netted four goals, along with an assist, while Weston Murray and Kaysen Kirk each scored twice to propel the home squad to a 9-5 victory.

As the sun rose on a frosty Saturday morning, Quesnel showed no signs of cooling off as they blew passed the Kamloops B Blazers team 6-4 to continue their winning streak. Taylor Riley opened up the scoring in the early-morning match, and Murray and Kirk joined him on the score sheet, each netting a couple of goals of their own during the match.

The Prince George Orange Orangoutangs did their best to slow down the flaming-hot home team, but there would be no stopping the Quesnel Atoms, as they steamrolled their way to a 6-2 victory thanks to some solid back checking from Rylan Maclean and monster offensive performances from Campbell and Powell, who had a hat trick each.

The gold medal match saw Quesnel pitted against the very strong Fort St. John Flyers team. Both teams battled hard through the first period, but as the game went on, it was the Flyers who would make the most of their opportunities, eventually beating the home team 7-0.

The Quesnel Sky-Hi Scaffolding Atom Selects would finish the tournament in second place with only one loss on their card, having put on an incredible performance for their hometown fans and outscoring their opponents 23-12 during round-robin play.

Quesnel head coach Matt Powell says the hard work the team has been putting in on and off the ice is really starting to come together, and it showed during this tournament.

“The tournament was really great,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier for the kids. They really earned their silver medal. They competed every game from start to finish and can walk out of this rink with their heads held high.”

Team manager and tournament organizer Brian Inwood felt the tournament went off without a hitch, and he lauded the community in Quesnel for their repeated efforts in bringing events like this together.

“This weekend was definitely a success, and we would like to thank all of the teams, the fans and the volunteers, along with our team sponsor, Sky-Hi Scaffolding, our tournament sponsor, AUL Industrial Repairs, and all of our game sponsors,” said Inwood. “The community really comes together for these types of events and helps make them fun and successful for everyone involved.”

Inwood adds that Granville’s Coffee was “a big hit,” especially during the early-morning games.

READ MORE: Quesnel Atom Selects strike gold in Chilliwack

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