Warriors goalie Andrew Lines dives on the puck as the Bulls' Brad Zealand and Warriors' Brett Demoe battle for position.

Hirsute hockey for health

Inaugural Movember fundraising hockey game in Port hardy a huge success.

PORT HARDY—At one time November was the grey, dreary bridge between Halloween parties and Christmas preparations. Then, with a single letter change, Movember was born, and manly men everywhere threw out their razors and let nature take its course.

This year saw a new Movember tradition begin in Port Hardy, as the Port Hardy Warriors and Port Hardy Bulls faced off in the inaugural Movember hockey fundraiser game.

The brainchild of the the Warriors’ Brian Texmo, the game played to a packed house at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena to raise funds for Mens Health Awareness, the main Movember charity.

Leigh Deans, who assisted in promotion and fundraising in addition to running the scoreboard, reported this week the event took in $2,012.32.

“I kept counting through the night, and at the last count there were 190 (fans),” said Deans. “We had lots of help and the community just embraced it.”

Texmo, armed with an impressive biker-esque horseshoe ‘stache, was one of the referees for the game and opened by thanking the crowd for its support before dropping the puck to start the game.

The game was fittingly gentleman-like, as the two teams and their well-mustachioed countenances battled for early control.

The Bulls’ Cody Diotte took a seat after three minutes for a holding call and the Warriors took advantage when Jake Colbourne pushed the puck goalwards from the blue line and Jordan Nicholson directed it in with 15:50 on the clock.

The Warriors continued to pressure but the Bulls’ goalie, Tyler Fuller, kept the score 1-0 with a series of fine saves.

The Bulls had chances of their own, particularly in the closing minutes of the period when the found a two-man advantage after Mitch Walker and Jared Breitkreitz incurred the attention of the referees in quick succession. The Warriors were able to hold on to their lead and close out the period.

As the teams came off the ice for cleaning, fundraising efforts by volunteers continued throughout the arena, with a 50/50 draw, puck toss and raffles joining the  admission donations for the cause.

The Warriors were in control for much of the second period, and Shelby Cockell added to their lead after putting back Eddie Walkus’ shot with 12:59 on the clock.

Walkus added his own goal seven minutes later on a breakaway play thanks to an assist from Walker to finish the 3-0 win. Former North Island Eagles standout Andrew Lines returned to earn the shutout in goal.

An appreciative crowd was vocal throughout, and it seems like this is one tradition that will continue and thrive.

Texmo called it “a great success. Very proud to call Port Hardy my home town after an event like that. Everyone should be damn proud.

 

“[It] was a privilege to play in front of the crowd, and the Warriors and Bulls couldn’t be happier,” Texmo added. “Thanks to all our volunteers, you were great. Thanks to all our local businesses who donated to make this happen. Next year will be twice as good. Happy Movember, and stay classy Port Hardy — we love you!”