PORT ALICE—The Doug Bondue Arena saw comebacks, penalty appeals, last-ditch saves and last-gasp goals as the Oscar Hickes Memorial hockey tournament came to town last weekend.
And that was just the last four minutes.
Three goals in four minutes saw the hometown Islanders take the lead in the A1 final of the annual tourney before the Warriors grabbed two in dramatic fashion to steal the win.
The Islanders thought they had it in the bag when Brent Hill skated the puck from the boards to the centre on the blue line before firing home a rocket through traffic.
The goal gave the home side a 4-3 advantage with 3:34 left to play, but the drama was far from over.
The Islanders’ Jordan Nicholson was sent to the penalty box for nailing Warrior Brian Texmo to the boards with a big hit.
Seconds later, the shorthanded Islanders got a sterling chance to double their lead when Jason Hodson stole the puck to go one-on-one with Warriors goalie Tyler Preece, but he couldn’t convert.
Moments later Hodson joined Nicholson in the box as the Warriors were given a two-man advantage with 2:04 to play.
Thirty seconds later the Hardy side was level.
A Mitch Walker shot pinged off the upright, kicking off a frantic goalmouth scramble. Brett Demoe picked up the puck in the right circle and coolly lifted the puck over Islanders netminder Adam Hall and into the net to tie.
As the seconds ticked away, the Islanders got another breakaway chance when Nicholson stole the puck on the centreline. With Walker and Shelby Cockell chasing, Nickelson had a half-yard advantage and went to ground on the shot as Cockell dived in front, the pair crashing into the boards.
The crowd bayed for a penalty shot but the referees judged that a hook from Walker had come before the shot and pointed to the circle.
Just off the puck drop Texmo got on the puck and broke from his own zone with a pack chasing and, with just 3.8 seconds left, squeezed the puck past Hall, triggering wild celebrations from the Warriors.
Eddie Walkus had opened the scoring for the Warriors just 30 seconds into the game, arriving at the back post to redirect Walker’s pass from the right. A Demoe put-back doubled the lead midway through the first before a blistering shot from Matt Kerr down the right pulled one back for the Islanders.
The Warriors thought they had added another late in the first but the shot came after the whistle and was disallowed for an off-the-puck holding offence.
A Hodson goal tied the score early in the second, and the Islanders went in front soon after when a pinpoint pass from Grant Hawkins put Hill through one-on-one, Hill going left and over Preece.
Cockell made it 3-3 with a highlight reel finish, picking up the puck on the move, turning to skate backwards at goal and shooting on the turn past Hall.
This year’s tournament saw 20 teams across five divisions battle it out Thursday, Friday and through the night into Saturday to set up Sunday’s finals.
In the A2 final the Rusty Trombones topped the Anarchists 7-3 while in the B division, the Horses topped the Sloppy Beavers 9-2.
In the C, the Muff ‘n’ Men beat out the Rookies 6-3 and the Pioneers went 5-1 over the Ice Devils in the D final.
Oscar Hickes Memorial Tournament
Doug Bondue Arena
Islanders 0, Warriors 0
Mustangs 9, Maniacs 1
Warriors 5, Mustangs 4
Islanders def. Maniacs, forfeit
Warriors 7, Maniacs 0
Islanders 5, Mustangs 1
Warriors 5, Islanders 4
Anarchists 3, Moose Knuckles 2
Rusty Trombones 4, Getting Greasy 3
Moose Knuckles 4, Getting Greasy 2
Rusty Trombones 3, Anarchists 3
Rusty Trombones 7, Moose Knuckles 2
Anarchists 5, Getting Greasy 2
Rusty Trombones 7, Anarchists 3
Smokers 6, Trailer Park Boys 2
The Horses 6, Sloppy Beavers 2
Sloppy Beavers 4, Trailer Park Boys 3
The Horses 10, Smokers 2
The Horses 7, Trailer Park Boys 1
Sloppy Beavers 7, Smokers 2
The Horses 9, Sloppy Beavers 2
Buck ‘n’ Does 6, Relativity 4
Muff ‘n’ Men 3, The Rookies 2
Muff ‘n’ Men 6, Relativity 2
The Rookies 4, Buck ‘n’ Does 2
Muff ‘n’ Men 3, Buck ‘n’ Does 0
Relativity 4, The Rookies 3
Muff ‘n’ Men 6, The Rookies 3
Ice Devils 7, WW1 5
Pioneers 4, PH Oldtimers 3
Pioneers 3, WW11
IceDevils 4, PH Oldtimers 2
PH Oldtimers 3, WW1 1
Ice Devils 9, Pioneers 5
Pioneers 5, Ice Devils 1