PORT HARDY — The Warriors of Port Hardy had already clinched the top spot in the North Island Men’s Commercial Hockey League. On the final weekend of play, they made sure they didn’t back into the championship.
Jake Colbourne, Trygg Carlson and Shelby Cockell scored two goals each Friday night as the Warriors topped the Port Hardy Bulls 6-2 and took home league bragging rights until next season.
The Warriors kept constant pressure on the Bulls and goalkeeper Derek Le Boeuf, and were especially dominant through the first period. Some acrobatic work in net by Le Boeuf kept the game within 2-1 until late in the opening period, when Colbourne chipped in a third Warriors goal with 2:34 remaining and Cockell buried a wrist shot with 19 seconds left as they padded their lead to 4-1 at intermission.
The Bulls tightened up their backcheck after the break and got a few more shots on winning goalie Jason Saunders, but never got closer than 4-2 on Barney Wilson’s rebound tally at 3:40 of the second.
Lucas Noel also scored for the Bulls, while Chad Mackenzie had two assists and Shawn Patterson added a helper.
Jordan Nicholson had two assists and Cockell and Arlo Kueber chipped in singles for the Warriors.
The Warriors bolted out to a fast start in league play, then overcame a midseason swoon and a late charge by the Port McNeill Ice Devils. They essentially clinched the league title with a win over the Devils two weeks earlier, prior to the break for Port Alice’s Oscar Hickes Memorial tourney.