The 16th annual Harvey Walkus Memorial Floor Hockey tournament was held April 22-24 at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena and the Wakas Hall in Port Hardy. Harvey Walkus, an incredibly talented floor hockey player, sadly lost his fight with depression and took his own life in 1998.
Gary Walkus did not want his brother’s death to be in vain, and organized the floor hockey tournament in 2000 to honour his memory. “The first year we started out with eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams,” said Walkus as he reminisced on how the tournament has grown over the years. “This year we had 12 men’s teams and five women’s teams, and it was another tremendous event that commemorated my brother’s memory.”
There were over 50 games of floor hockey played throughout the entire weekend, and it was the Harvey Memorial 1 Team and the Gil’s Girls team that collected enough points to meet in the ladies final on Sunday afternoon at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena. Harvey Memorial 1 got out to a quick 2-0 lead early in the 1st period, and they kept pouring on the pressure for the rest of the 20 minute period of play, scoring three more goals to take a 5-0 lead going into the 2nd.
Harvey Memorial kept scoring in the 2nd period, adding three more goals to win the ladies finals 7-1 in decisive fashion.The men’s finals featured the defending champs the Wolfpack versus the Regulators. The Regulators got on the scoreboard early at 15:52 of the 1st period, and they kept up the pace, scoring three more goals before the end of the period.
In the 2nd period, the Regulators continued on dominating the game, passing the ball well and getting great shots on the Wolfpack’s goalie. By the end of the 2nd period, the Regulators had officially dethroned the defending champs the Wolfpack in an 8-1 shellacking.
Walkus was all smiles at the end of the day, stating that he “couldn’t have been anymore happy with how the tournament went,” and that he was “so excited to see how well everything lined up. All the teams played great, and I was very happy with all the support we had throughout the tournament.”
Walkus added that there’s already lots of interest for the tournament next year, stating that “we’re looking at having the local RCMP enter a team. It’s going to be a big tournament, a couple teams from Nanaimo and Ladysmith are planning to enter,” and that he wanted to say a “big huge thank you to my parents for always giving their input and helping me with everything we do.”