Ive been taking some heat for not blogging on the west coast senior hockey league. Well, theres a darn good reason for that. The Jack Byrne Memorial Arena in Torbay, the Southern Shore Arena, the Mount Pearl Glacier, heck even the Monseigneur Bartlett Memorial Arena on Bell Island, are all in the St. Johns metropolitan area where I live and work. As a result, I can attend games featuring Avalon East teams far more easily and thereby have something of a least a little substance to say about that league. Since I dont, and ultimately cant, take off to Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook or Deer Lake for a weekend or even a night unless assigned to do so by my supervisor (which doesnt happen seeing as how theres a second daily paper in this province currently covering the west quite extensively the Western Star), its a little difficult to post something worth reading if all I can base an opinion on is hearsay or by digesting game sheets. Its serves no one any good; not the league, teams, players, volunteers, fans, my readers or myself. Its not an ideal situation, but thats the way it is for now.
Had a chance to speak with the Clarenville Caribous Derrick Kent recently, and took the opportunity to ask him about the end of season excitement in West Coast league. In the second half of the season, you bare down and take it a bit more serious and teams are getting concerned on where theyre finishing and who theyre going to play. For the Bous, that hype seems to be amplified for games against the three-time and defending west champs, the Deer Lake Red Wings. Not taking away from any of the teams, you try to get as hyped as equally for every match. But it seems whenever we play (them), theres added hype and I think it comes from both communities. The Red Wings might be the last of the Caribous concern as the season winds down however. The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts trail Clarenville by just four points in the standings, with the teams slated to play four more times before seasons end. As a team, we take them seriously, says Kent. Theyre right up there with any of the teams, including Deer Lake, and theyre coming on strong now. Indeed they are, while the Red Wings and Caribous have put up 6-4-0 records in their last ten, the Cataracts are 6-3-1 and just wrapped up a two-win weekend over the lowly Corner Brook Royals. With Clarenville scheduled to play two more against Deer Lake as well, wins over Grand Falls-Windsor are paramount if they want to finish in top spot and draw the Royals in the first round. Boom! West Coast blog.