Bulls vs Warriors Memorial game

Local tri-port men's hockey teams battled head to head in memorial game

Local Tri-Port men’s hockey league rivals, the Warriors and the Bulls, went head-to-head Jan. 15 for a great

cause; the annual Gilbert Walkus Memorial hockey game. This was the sixth year in a row that the memorial

game, which is in honour of Walkus who died in an apartment fire on New Year’s Day in 2010, had been held,

and there was a packed crowd at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy. Before the puck

dropped, Brian Texmo, a player on the Warriors team, got on the microphone and thanked everyone for coming

out to celebrate Walkus’ life, and then told a couple of great stories about Walkus who, in his final full season of

play, led the North Island Commercial League in scoring. After a moment of silence, the hockey game

commenced. The 1st period kicked off at a quick pace, with both teams passing the puck up and down the

boards, but it was the Bulls who got onto the scoreboard first at 15:24 with a goal from Brett Walker. The

Warriors, down five men to three thanks to two penalties, got the puck out of their zone, and Mitch Walker

snapped in a wrist shot at 11:54. Incredulously, the Warriors, still down two players, somehow got the puck

again and rushed down the ice on a two-on-one breakaway. The Warrior’s Jeff Badger got the pass from

Texmo and slid the puck around the Bull’s goalie to take the lead 2-1. The Bull’s Darryl Coon Jr. netted a wrist

shot with 4:43 left, and the 1st period ended with the score tied 2-2.In the 2nd and final period, the Warriors

battled hard and looked to pull away from the Bulls. The Warrior’s Shelby Cockell roofed the puck top shelf over

the Bull’s goalie at 6:32 to make it 3-2. Cockell added a second goal almost two minutes later, giving the

Warriors a comfortable 4-2 lead. The Bulls however didn’t just lay down and quit. With 3:36 left in the period,

Jason “Peppy” Hodson banged in a goal at the side of the net to make it 4-3. The Bulls kept pressuring

offensively for the rest of the period, but couldn’t find the tying goal. The time clock ran out and the Warriors

held on to win 4-3, in what turned out to be an exciting game that honoured the life of Walkus.