PORT HARDY—Sunday’s finals were marred by a scoring controversy and a tournament-ending injury, and the host team failed to win a game.
But the annual Port Hardy Minor Hockey peewee hockey tournament did provide one of the most unique cheers in sport.
“Who’s number one?”
“Two!” members of Comox Team 2 chanted while posing for photos with the championship trophy following their 1-0 win over Cowichan Valley Sunday at Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.
The final game was stopped early in the third period when Comox skater Terry Tinling was hit in a mid-ice collision and landed hard on his upper back and shoulders.
Tinling was able to move while laying on the ice, but reported tingling sensations to officials who checked on him before he was put on a backboard and taken from the arena by ambulance as a precaution.
The delay caused time to run out on the game, which then went right to the trophy presentation.
Cowichan earned its spot into the final after a dramatic ending to its game against Comox Team 4 earlier in the day.
Trailing 3-2 as time ticked away, Comox’s Bradley Tensdale deflected a point shot into the goal as the buzzer sounded. The Comox players mobbed Tensdale while the Cowichan skaters banged their sticks in frustration, as both teams thought they were headed to a tiebreaking shootout.
But after a conference between on-ice officials and the scorekeeper and timer, the goal was waved off as having come after time expired.
Cowichan moved on to the final while Comox 4 was presented the third-place trophy.
The finals began with Port McNeill topping the Port Hardy/Port Alice Roadrunners 11-1 in the 6th-7th-place game. First-year skater Christopher Speck scored a hat trick and Kerrigan Sharpe had two goals as the Storm finished 2-2 in tourney play. Port McNeill opened the tournament with a win over the Campbell River Eagles but lost out on a spot in the fourth-place game to the Eagles due to a goal-differential tiebreaker.
The inexperienced Port Hardy and Port Alice peewee squad — goalie Robbie Walkus is a first-year player — did not win a game, but no team had more fun in the three-day tourney. The skaters celebrated every goal as if it were a Stanley Cup clincher, regardless of how much they trailed, and kept loose and cheerful on the bench.
“We lost with dignity,” Port Hardy’s Hunter Ballentyne said.
The Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Port Alice players, who have played with and against each other and occasionally shared practices this season, gathered for a combined group photo following their finals meeting.
Port Hardy Minor Hockey’s tournament schedule continues this weekend with its annual bantam tournament, beginning Friday afternoon at the arena. As always, it will feature plenty of raffle table and 50/50 prizes, and the concession will be open throughout.
Finals will be played beginning Sunday morning.
2012 Port Hardy Minor Hockey Peewee Tournament
Jan. 27-29 At Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena
Championship: Comox (2) 1, Cowichan Valley 0
2nd-3rd place: Cowichan 3, Comox (4) 2
4th-5th place: Campbell River Sabres 6, Campbell River Eagles 3
6th-7th place: Port McNeill 11, Port Hardy 1
Port McNeill goals: Christopher Speck 3, Kerrigan Sharpe 2, Lucas Blount, Kaisha Laird, Daniel Jordan, Randi Ward, Trent Beek. Assists: Blount 2, Laird 2, Kris Joliffe, Mercedes Trevor, Aidan Mohan, Brenden Murray, Emma Mitchell. Port Hardy goal: Riley Nelson. Assist: Tanner Roberts.
C.R. Sabres 17, Port Hardy 1
Port Hardy goal: Roberts.
Port McNeill 7, C.R. Eagles 4
Port McNeill goals: Trevor 3, Mohan, Joliffe, Cameron Grant, Speck. Assists: Ward 2, Travis Shade, Mitchell.
Comox (4) 3, Cowichan 2
Comox (2) 13, Port Hardy 0
Comox (4) 4, Port McNeill 1
Port McNeill goal: Trevor. Assist: Mackenzie Murgatroyd.
Cowichan 7, C.R. Sabres 0
C.R. Eagles 14, Port Hardy 2
Port Hardy goals: Hunter Ballentyne, Nelson.
Comox (2) 7, Port McNeill 4
Port McNeill goals: Grant 2, Mitchell, Joliffe. Assists: Speck, Laird, Grant.
Comox (4) 8, Port Hardy 2
Port Hardy goals: Alec Schmidt, Lyam Donetz. Assists: Ballentyne, Emily Keamo.
Comox (2) 6, C.R. Sabres 3
Cowichan 2, C.R. Eagles 0