Bulls goalie Barry Wilson deflects a shot by Greg Brieba of the Warriors during Friday's Commercial Hockey League season opener at Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy.

Warriors edge Bulls in commercial season opener

PORT HARDY - Mellow's second-period goal snaps tie as defending league champs open with win

PORT HARDY — Quinn Mellow’s second-period goal from the top of the circle snapped a tie and lifted the Port Hardy Warriors to a 3-2 win over the Port Hardy Bulls in the North Island Commercial Hockey League season opener Friday at Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

The Bulls had tied the game 2-2 less than a minute earlier, when Jordan Campbell converted a nice crossing pass from Scott Williams for a shorthanded score.

The Warriors never trailed in the game, but never led by more than a goal. They got scoring started on Shelby Cockell’s power-play tally at 5:20 of the first period, assisted by Brett Demoe.

The Bulls tied it 1-1 on Chad Mackenzie’s unassisted goal at 11:05, but the Warriors restored the lead on another man-advantage score, by Chris Ranger, with 6:29 left in the period.

Jason Saunders collected the win in goal for the Warriors, who got assists from Jake Colbourne and Brian Texmo.

The season continues when the Warriors host the Port McNeill Ice Devils in Port Hardy tomorrow at 9:15 p.m. The Neucel Islanders of Port Alice kick off their season the following week when the league hosts a full set of games in all three North Island Arenas.