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

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles tie Victoria Ice Hawks, fall in rematch

The North Island Atom Eagles will be back in league play action at home in January.

Strong winds expected to hit north, west Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada said southeast winds will reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour

Town of Port McNeill hesitates on replacing harbour’s dock and ramp

“The danger is the longer we hold on to awarding the bid, the closer we get to the tourist season”

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Property assessments to rise again on Vancouver Island

Some areas could see their assessments spike as much as 20 per cent

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read