Bulls netminder Colin Hunko eyes the puck after turning aside a shot during Saturday's league game in Port Hardy.

Bulls netminder Colin Hunko eyes the puck after turning aside a shot during Saturday's league game in Port Hardy.

Warriors roll to winning league start

The Warriors carried the momentum from their recent Wild tourney win to post back-to-back wins over the Bulls last weekend.

PORT HARDY—The Warriors carried the momentum from their recent Wild tourney win to post back-to-back wins over the Bulls in the Port Hardy Men’s Hockey League last weekend.

A strong second period Friday saw the Warriors ease out to an 8-4 win, Jeff Cowles racking up four goals including the winning score for the Warriors.

Saturday’s game was a much tighter affair, a clutch save by Warriors goalie Jason Saunders with 3.3 seconds to play securing a 4-3 win in a game that could have gone either way.

The Bulls chased throughout, but bagged quick replies three times in the second period to keep the game in sight.

Cole Morton opened the scoring for the Warriors on a breakaway early in the first period, skating free to backhand the puck over the shoulder of the Bulls’ net minder Colin Hunko. Despite chances for both sides, his goal was the only score of the first period.

The game sprang to life in the second period as the momentum swung from one end to the other.

A promising Bulls start piled pressure on the Warriors in the opening minutes but David Shaw took advantage of a lull to line up a wrist shot from the right circle and slam a bullet through the Bulls defence.

The two-goal buffer didn’t last long however as the Bulls pulled one back 30 seconds later, Richard Burgess driving right and firing home from a tight angle.

The Warriors had a golden opportunity to go 3-1 up on the 12 minute mark when Darryl Cockell intercepted a pass and broke free only to be hooked back. From the resulting penalty shot, Cockell dragged the puck across to shoot low for the right corner but Hunko’s butterfly covered the post and denied the goal.

Again the two sides went goal for goal from the restart. Jake Colbourne found the net for the Warriors on a near carbon copy of Cockell’s hampered chance, breaking forward and backhanding home.

But the lead proved fragile as Shaun Desrosiers was in the right place to fire a rebound past Saunders and keep the Bulls in the hunt.

The Warriors restored the advantage through Shelby Cockell after a slick buildup with eight minutes left. All five players were involved in moving the puck into the Bulls zone before Morton fired one in at an unsighted Hunko. The goalie got his pad on the puck but Shelby was on hand to stuff home from close range.

The lead was cut to one by Adam Dimetrichuk a minute later, setting up a frantic finale. Max Robertson did well to fight for possession on the boards, stealing the puck and dishing off to Carson Porter. Porter fired in a speculative shot that took a deflection off a defender’s stick and on to the pad of Saunders, with Dimetrichuk reacting first to fire home from the slot.

A late penalty saw the Bulls play the final minute shorthanded and the Warriors play possession in an attempt to run out the clock.

The strategy almost backfired when Porter cut out a pass and surged forward on the break. Under pressure from the scrambling defence, Porter squared the puck for the supporting Dimetrichuk, but Saunders came out and met the pass before diving on the rebound to stop the clock at 3.3 seconds.

Both sides will be in action again this weekend with the Bulls facing the Islanders in Port Alice Friday and the Warriors hosting the Mustangs in Port Hardy.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
SD85 school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Shoebox Project logo
Donate now to the Campbell River/North Island Shoebox Project

There is just over a week to go in The Campbell River/North Island Shoebox Project campaign

The entrance to the Port Hardy aquatic centre. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Port Hardy council will decide fate of pool revitalization project at next meeting

The pool revitalization project will be on the agenda at the Dec. 8 meeting for council to vote on.

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning, offering coffee, tea, hot soup, meals and warmth. Cots were available for overnight stays. The centre had a generator, so people were able to charge their devices. Approximately 75 residents passed through during the three-day outage. (Debra Lynn photo)
Port Alice residents talk three-day power outage

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning.

Emma Garriott is releasing her second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst.’ (Emma Garriott / Facebook photo)
North Island musician releases second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst’

“When you hear it, I want you to feel like your best friend in the whole world is sitting beside you’

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read