Senior league snippets
After the first weekend of play the Clarenville Caribous and Conception Bay CeeBees find themselves atop the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League standings – just where I expect them to be at season’s end.
The expansion Gander Flyers put forth a gutsy effort against the powerful CeeBees – dropping 4-3 and 7-4 decisions. The gritty Flyers gave early indication they are a proud bunch that will not go down without a fight. Great to hear that Flyer fans have embraced the team and tailgaters were even spotted outside Gander Arena.
Love the fact the Flyers have kept tradition alive by wearing the circa-1970s Los Angeles Kings purple and gold colors but wish they would have gone the extra mile and secured purple pants and helmets, instead of black.
With Gander seemingly on solid footing can a return of the Stephenville Jets be far behind?
Brandon Pye of Mount Pearl is turning heads with the Truro Bearcats of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.
The five-foot-10, 186-pounder is tied for tops in team scoring with 17 points - seven goals, 10 assists - in 11 games this season and Hockey Canada has taken noticed
The 18-year-old centre was announced recently as one of 60 players invited to the Canada East selection camp for the 2012 World Junior A Challenge Nov. 5 to 11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
The camp will be held Oct. 28 to 31 in Toronto. Pye, has led the Bearcats (10-0-0-1), to their best start in franchise history. Pye skated with the St. John's Maple Leafs of the Newfoundland major midget circuit last season, leading the league with 61 points - 21 goals, 40 assists - in 24 games.
Pye is one of just three Maritime Junior Hockey League skaters attending the camp.
Travis Wilkins of Gambo is off to a great start with the Yarmouth Mariners. The 20-year-old netminder spent the last three seasons playing junior A in the Ottawa area before coming back east this fall.
Wilkins has played in 12 of 14 games for the league-leading Mariners (11-3-0) and sports a 9-3 win-loss record and a 2.51 goals against average.
Chatting with Clarenville’s Jon Pardy via twitter and email recently and the rugged forward tells me he has given up on pro hockey after yet another shoulder injury.
For the second year in a row, the 22-year-old separated a shoulder during Huntsville (Alabama) Havoc (Southern Pro League) training camp.
Pardy’s cell phone was not working in the United States so I haven’t been able to determine if he’s done with hockey altogether. If not, don’t be surprised to see the former Clarenville Caribou resurface in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.
In the Q
Brandon Hynes’ fast start to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season was derailed recently by a head shot.
Hynes, who was named captain of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in September, was drilled by Cape Breton forward Kyle Campbell and the shifty forward has been sidelined for three games.
Hynes’ absence has seemingly affected the production of teammate and fellow Newfoundlander Zach O’Brien (of St. John’s) who has cooled off recently with 21 points which puts him 11th in league scoring.
Dave Salter has nearly 25 years experience as sports writer for publications such as The Telegram and Halifax Daily News. He is currently a reporter for Rogers Television’s St. John’s IceCaps broadcasts, a freelancer for publications such as The Hockey News and is a part-time scout for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.