Another downturn for Downpour

PORT McNEILL — Once-popular women's hockey tourney cancelled for second straight year due to lack of entrants

The once-annual Port McNeill Downpour women’s hockey tournament scheduled for this month has been cancelled.

The tournament, scheduled for Feb. 28 to March 1, has been held for years, says Sonya Strang, and was scheduled for “but the last two years it’s harder and harder to get teams to come up.”

Organizers had hoped to run a four women’s, four men’s tournament, but getting commitment from teams was getting too late. “We ended up having to cancel it. We just couldn’t get the numbers together in time,” she said.

There are two women’s hockey teams in the area, the Port McNeill Downpour and the Port Hardy Wild. There is also a pick-up team ”of random younger players” called the Juiceheads that gets together for tournaments.

The two teams play each other every second week alternating between the two communities.

They next play Sunday, Feb. 22 at 4:15 p.m. in Port McNeill; Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Port Hardy; Sunday, March 8 at 4:15 p.m. in Port McNeill, and Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Port Hardy.

Strang says there are quite a few female hockey players signed up in the area, but it can be hard to field a team on a regular basis.

Most of the players are moms and “kids’ schedules usually come first.”

However, there are more and more girls playing minor hockey at every age group.

Strang enjoys playing hockey.

“It’s tons of fun,” she said adding she is one of the rare ones.

“I didn’t learn to skate until I was 24.”