PORT HARDY — Singer-songwriter Randy Newman has claimed “It’s lonely at the top.” He obviously wasn’t writing about the North Island Men’s Commercial Hockey League.
Ryan Clark poured in five goals and the streaking Port McNeill Ice Devils rolled past the Port Hardy Warriors 7-3 Friday to climb within a point of the league-leading Warriors.
The win, coupled with the Port Hardy Bulls’ 6-2 loss to the Neucel Islanders in Port Alice Friday, allowed the Devils (7-6-2) to jump into second place in the standings with 16 points.
The Warriors (7-6-3) cling to the league lead with 17 points, while the Bulls (7-7-1) lurk just behind in third with 15 points.
Kurtis Grant and Chris Dutcyvich added goals for the Ice Devils, who closed Friday’s game with three unanswered goals after the Warriors drew within 4-3 with 11:39 to play. Bob Wells picked up the win in goal.
Bill Rushton had three assists and John Prachnau and Al Rushton added two each for the Devils, who are now on a five-game unbeaten streak.
Quinn Mellow, Trygg Carlson and Cole Morton scored for the Warriors, with Carlson, Morton, Barclay Burroughs, Ron Harvie and Eddie Walkus each collecting assists.
Islanders 6, Bulls 2
Daniel Farrell and Jason Hodgson scored two goals each for the Islanders, who improved to 5-7-2.
Wayne Magnusson and Adam Farrell also found the net for the Islanders and goalie Adam Hall was untouchable over the final 31 minutes after the Bulls closed to 4-2.
Scott Williams scored both goals for the Bulls, with Shawn Patterson getting a helper.