Nathan Silbernagel wins the face-off for the Princeton Atoms team against their Penticton opponents.

Nathan Silbernagel wins the face-off for the Princeton Atoms team against their Penticton opponents.

Atoms on the attack

Last season, the Minor Posse Atoms team declared themselves as a rep development team.

Last season, the Minor Posse Atoms team declared themselves as a rep development team.  With that declaration, came tougher competition and a commitment to practice hard and play hard by all the young players.  Coach Ryan O’Neil and assistant coach Carson Zieske spent the year developing their kids into skilled young players.

There were a lot of losses last year for the team, but O’Neil was confident that his young charges had what it took to preserve.  Although, the kids suffered some bumps and bruises, every game they played with determination right through to the end.  It was this strong work ethic that made both the parents and coaching staff believe that next season, the Minor Posse Atoms were going to be fierce.

Fierce and undefeated, the Atoms are back.  “Last year was a real learning experience for the most part,” stated O’Neil, “but their hard work and dedication is why we should be one of the teams to beat this year.”

The Atoms played two games on Thanksgiving weekend and one game this past weekend as part of their regular season and one exhibition game in Merritt.  The first game was against Penticton.  Nathan Silbernagel drew first blood scoring the first goal of the game off a pass from Marcus Brodie.  Austin O’Neil found net minutes later when Marcus Brodie again made a nice pass.  O’Neil picked up a loose puck in the opponents end swooped around their net like a dive bombing bird and kaboom the Princeton Atoms were ahead 3-0.  Marcus Brodie was far from finished and scored the fourth goal.  Then, Grant Yee took advantage of a power play and smacked the puck up and in.

#2 Brodie skated out of the penalty box and picked up a pass by being in the right place at the right time.  The score was 6-0 and then, 7-0 when O’Neil swooped around the net again.  Going into the third period, Penticton finally got a break and scored the first goal for their team.  They were not done yet.  It was 7-2 before Princeton came at them again.  Then, 8-3.  The last goal came from Austin O’Neil right off a face off.  The game ended 9-3.

On the Sunday, the Princeton Atoms headed to Chase.   Chase never gave up.  They kept fighting, but the game ended 7-17 for Princeton.