PORT McNEILL—The theme for this year’s Port McNeill Downpour women’s hockey tournament was circus.
Fitting, really, as the host Downpour put on a high-wire act all weekend.
Goalie Nicole Yorke posted a pair of shutouts and Ashlynne Moore potted eight goals as the Downpour reached their tourney championship game for the first time before taking second place with a 5-1 loss to the Victoria Furies.
“The best part was not having to get up for the 7 a.m. game,” Downpour skater Cyndy Grant said after Sunday’s noon showdown with the Furies.
It was the second meeting of the tourney between the top seeds, who both advanced unbeaten into the final after skating to a 3-3 tie in their round-robin matchup.
Moore scored the lone goal for the hosts on a slap shot from the circle that drew the Downpour to 3-1 with 8:14 left to play.
Three local teams — the Downpour and Ice Storm of Port McNeill and the Port Hardy Wild — competed in the seven-team affair. Other familiar faces also took part on visiting teams, including former Downpour player Erin Harrison for Campbell River’s Wild Cats and recent Port Hardy grad Emily Heavenor, who is attending university down-Island and played for the Oceanside Shadowmakers.
“I haven’t gotten out to play much, and it showed,” said Heavenor, whose new club topped Port Hardy 6-2 in the fifth-place game. “But it was a lot of fun.”
The fun probably peaked, as it often does, during the traditional Saturday night social in which the tourney’s theme is unveiled in all its glory. In this case, the party at the Haida-Way Inn featured a ringmaster, strong “man”, clowns, one gorilla and many monkeys, along with a badly outnumbered banana.
“Oh, it was a circus, all right,” Grant deadpanned.
The Port McNeill Ice Storm kicked off Sunday’s finals with a chance to play their way into the third-place game with a victory. But their seventh-place showdown against the Victoria Blade Runners ended in a 5-5 draw, and, after Shelby Greenhorn found the net on their first shootout attempt, the Ice Storm did not score again as the Blade Runners took a 6-5 shootout win.
Ashley Parker scored twice and Greenhorn, Elysian Brady and April Foster found the net for the Ice Storm.
In the fifth-place game, Lisa Klatt and Janey Henschke scored for Port Hardy’s Wild, but the club had little puck luck and Henschke, who had four goals in the tourney, left with an apparent separated shoulder as the Shadowmakers took the win.
Campbell River overcame an early deficit against the bottom-seeded Blade Runners to edge the upset-minded squad 2-1 in the third place final.
Port McNeill Downpour Women’s Hockey Tournament
At Chilton Regional Arena
Championship: Victoria Furies 5, Port McNeill Downpour 1
Downpour goal: Ashlynne Moore.
Third-fourth place: Campbell River Wild Cats 2, Victoria Blade Runners 1
Fifth-sixth place: Oceanside Shadowmakers 6, Port Hardy Wild 2
Port Hardy goals: Lisa Klatt, Janey Henschke. Assist: Deana Tupper.
Seventh place (winner to 3rd-4th): Blade Runners 6, Port McNeill Ice Storm 5, shootout
Ice Storm goals: Ashley Parker 2, Shelby Greenhorn, Elysian Brady, April Foster. Assists: Brady, Foster.
Downpour 2, Wild Cats 0
Downpour goals: Ashlynne Moore 2. Shutout: Nicole Yorke.
Ice Storm 7, Blade Runners 7
Ice Storm goals: Dara Engel 4, Greenhorn 3. Assists: Engel, Parker, Katie Jackman.
Furies 7, Wild 2
Wild goals: Rosie Dugas, Tupper. Assist: Jennifer Smith.
Downpour 7, Shadowmakers 2
Downpour goals: Moore 4, Marnie Godmaire 2, Chelsey Jones. Assists: Jen Hunchuk, Amy Beetham.
Wild Cats 4, Ice Storm 2
Ice Storm goals: Brady, Greenhorn. Assist: Foster.
Wild 8, Blade Runners 4
Wild goals: Smith 3, Dugas, Lauren Cowles, Tupper, Henschke, Megan Cairncross. Assists: Carmen Walsh 3, Paula Klatt 2, Dugas 2, Cairncross.
Downpour 3, Furies 3
Downpour goals: Moore 2, Tanna Wesner. Assist: Sasha Ward.
Shadowmakers 8, Ice Storm 1
Ice Storm goal: Parker.
Wild Cats 7, Wild 4
Wild goals: Henschke 2, L. Klatt, Cairncross. Assists: Walsh 2, Dugas.
Downpour 8, Blade Runners 0
Downpour goals: Jamie Woodford 2, Hunchuk 2, Moore, Godmaire, Sonya Strang, Liza Furney. Assists: Emily Knox 2, Moore, Laina Hunko, Hunchuk,
Men’s Commercial Hockey League
Through Feb. 13
Team W L T Pts
Warriors 9 5 1 19
Mustangs 7 4 1 15
Islanders 5 6 1 11
Bulls 5 11 1 11
Friday, Feb. 8
Warriors at Islanders, ppd
Bulls 4, Mustangs 2
Friday, Feb. 15
Islanders at Warriors, 9:15 p.m., Port Hardy
Port Hardy ‘B’ Hockey League
Through Feb. 13
Team W L T Pts
Stars 10 2 1 21
Whalers 9 3 1 19
Smokers 8 5 1 17
Pioneers 4 3 1 9
Oilers 2 8 0 4
Mainline 2 2 0 4
Rookies 0 15 0 0
Saturday, Feb. 9
Smokers vs. PH Oldtimers, no report
Whalers 6, WC Rookies 3
Sunday, Feb. 10
Stars vs. PH Oldtimers, no report
Smokers vs. WC Rookies, no report