Port Hardy's Eli Heller stretches for the puck as Port McNeill goalie Reese Lloyd comes across to cover.

Port Hardy's Eli Heller stretches for the puck as Port McNeill goalie Reese Lloyd comes across to cover.

Local peewees fit to be tied in final

Port Hardy and Port McNeill's peewee teams draw in tournament.

PORT HARDY—There was nothing to chose between the two local peewee hockey teams as Port Hardy faced Port McNeill for 7th and 8th place in the peewee tourney held at the Don Cruikshank Memorial Arena last weekend.

After a round-robin series, the visiting teams proved too strong for the local contingent, although Port Hardy came close to ousting the Campbell River Bears in their opening game, narrowly losing out 6-5 to the visitors.

That was the closest the two local teams came to unseating one of the visitors, leaving the pair to settle it between them on Sunday morning.

Nigel Walkus opened the scoring for Port Hardy on a solo effort with seven left in the first period.

Walkus doubled Hardy’s lead two minutes later off an Owain Jewell assist.

The two-goal cushion didn’t last long however, as Will Johnson pulled one back for McNeill to stay within sight at the end of the first.

Trent Beek leveled the scores after his shot found a gap straight off a faceoff midway through the second.

Bree-Anne Henderson restored Hardy’s advantage in the dying seconds of the second to start the third 3-2 ahead.

Jesse Lloyd put McNeill back on level footing a minute into the third after seeing his cross deflect off a defender’s stick to find the back of the net.

Once again Hardy evened it up soon after, as Walkus found the net again to claim a hat trick.

Two minutes later, NcNeill struck again, leveling the game despite being short-handed through Beek once more.

Cody Walkus put Hardy in the lead 5-4 with seven left to play on a solo breakaway effort.

McNeill continued to fight and got the final say when Lindsay Cook found a spot in front of Hardy’s goal and converted a cross into an equalizer.

It was a fitting result after the two teams worked so hard.

Either side could have claimed victory on a different day. McNeill had long spells in Hardy’s zone, piling on the pressure, but when Hardy did get chances they finished them well.

On the day a draw was a fair result for both teams.