Linda Cochrane performs mock CPR on fallen Port McNeill Downpour teammate Boni Sharpe during the 2008 Downpour women's hockey tournament. The tourney has been revived after being cancelled a year ago due to low turnout.

Tourney revived

Port McNeill Downpour women's hockey tournament returns after hiatus.

PORT McNEILL—After a popular, 15-year run the Port McNeill Downpour women’s hockey tournament suffered its first cancellation a year ago.

To the delight of local women players, the tourney is back on the ice and ready for puck drop tomorrow evening at Chilton Regional Arena.

“We started working on it as soon as last year’s (tournament) was cancelled,” said Sonya Strang, co-organizer of the event for the local Downpour team. “We had it confirmed by Dec. 15, when we had to commit to the ice rental.”

From its start in the late 1990s, the Downpour tournament was a popular event for local and visiting teams, and by the mid-2000s had developed a waiting list of teams trying to get in.

But that changed abruptly last year, after several teams in were left stranded on the North Island when a mudslide closed Highway 19 for nearly two days in November 2011 after the women had played a tournament in Port Hardy.

Between that and another tournament set up in Nanaimo during the Downpour’s traditional February weekend, local organizers found too few teams willing to travel north to host a viable tourney in 2012.

“We got seven teams signed up this year,” said Strang. “Hopefully they’ve forgotten about the road closure by now.”

The field includes three local teams — the Downpour and Ice Storm of Port McNeill and the Port Hardy Wild — and a quartet of down-Island squads made up of both returning clubs, like the Victoria Furies, and first-time entrants like the Oceanside Shadowmakers.

Three games are scheduled Friday beginning at 7 p.m. A full day of hockey will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, which ends with the traditional dinner and social at the Haida-Way Inn that evening. The event includes live music from the Jam Shack Araknids.

“Half the reason teams come up is the Saturday night social,” said Strang.

The return of the Downpour tourney could also provide a small boost to the local economy during the lean winter season. The Downpour will have a substantial raffle table with prizes donated by local businesses, and in turn they’ll sell their visitors on those businesses.

“We want to try to promote local business as much as possible,” Strang said.

 

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read