PORT HARDY—John Murgatroyd scored the tying and go-ahead goals less than three minutes apart Friday as the Port McNeill Mustangs broke open a tight, defensive game and went on to a 4-2 win over the Port Hardy Warriors in North Island Commercial Hockey League play at Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.
Warriors goalie Cole Morton and Mustangs backstop Aaron Hinton allowed just one goal each through the first of the two, 20-minute periods — and both those goals came in the final 1:33.
The game’s lone scoring flurry continued just one minute into the second period, when Shelby Cockell converted off a Trygg Carlson assist to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead. But it took only 60 more seconds for Murgatroyd to knot the score with a power-play goal, and at 4:52 of the period Murgatroyd scored again for a 3-2 Mustangs advantage.
The score held until the Mustangs (2-0-1) tacked on an insurance goal with 2:27 to play.
Al Rushton had a goal and an assist for the winners, with Ryan Rushton and John Prachnau contributing helpers.
Mitchell Walker also found the net for the Warriors (1-2), on an unassisted goal late in the first.
Bulls, Islanders postponed
Friday’s scheduled home opener for the Neucel Islanders was postponed as the ice is not yet in at Port Alice Arena. This Friday’s scheduled game between the Mustangs and Islanders in Port Alice will also be moved to a date yet to be announced. The Port Alice Ice is scheduled to be ready for its first games the weekend of Nov. 2-4.
Stars 5, Pioneers 0
The goaltending of Colin Hunko and the speed and youth of the Stars were too much for the visitors from Port McNeill Saturday at Cruickshank Arena.
Tanner Beck scored a pair of goals and Hank Olesen had a goal and two assists in the win, the first of a home-and-home series between the Stars and the Pioneers, a team whose core is made up of old-timers. The Pioneers are not a regular member of the Port Hardy Men’s Hockey League but are included in the schedule with two games against each league member.
Carson Porter and Jon Domalain also found the net for the winners, who got two of their five goals in an 11-minute, running-time third period following the scheduled 40-minute game. Lyle Penner had two assists and Garth Haysey and Steve Clair added helpers.
Whalers 6, Oilers 4
The Whalers improved to 3-0 on the season with Sunday’s victory in Port Hardy. The Oilers fell to 0-2-1.