PORT ALICE—Five different players found the net and fill-in goalie Tyler Fuller frustrated the host team throughout as the Port Hardy Warriors closed out the North Island Commercial Hockey League season with a 5-1 win over the Neucel Islanders Friday at the local arena.
Ethan Shaw, Shelby Cockell, Eddie Walkus, Jared Breitkreitz and Mitchell Walker each tallied for the Warriors, who led just 1-0 at intermission before rattling off four straight goals to start the second period.
Fuller lost his shutout with just 2:11 remaining, when the Islanders’ Bruce Murray tipped a shot from the high slot by teammate Rory Bondue and redirected it to the back of the net.
Shaw, fresh off his final campaign with the North Island Eagles midget team, got the first goal late in the first period when he tipped home a rebound from his perch at the post at 4:55.
That was all allowed by Islanders goalie Ryan Stewart, filling in for regular keeper Adam Hall, until he was left stranded on the game-winner at 5:53 of the second.
Walkus made a neutral-zone steal in full stride and joined Corey Swain on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Stewart stopped Swain’s initial shot, then recovered quickly to make another stop on Walkus’s point-blank rebound try.
But Stewart was left on his back and the late-arriving Islanders defenders lost sight of the puck. As one of them chased Walkus into the corner and another curled behind the net to seek the puck, Cockell alertly fished it from beneath Stewart’s leg and lifted an easy shot over the fallen goalie.
Walkus pushed the lead to 3-0 with a wrist shot from the bottom of the circle at 7:21; Breitkreitz buried a one-timer from the slot on Shaw’s pass from below the end line at 11:43 and Walker capped the Warriors’ scoring with a goal through slot traffic at 15:23.
Not all the play was in front of Stewart. At the other end, Fuller faced several flurries and the occasional rush, but managed to keep the hosts out of the net and got quick clearing help from his defence until Murray’s late score.