The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts appear more than ready to defend their Herder Memorial Trophy championship after a pair of wins over Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades in the new Newfoundland Senior Hockey League during the weekend
Cataracts’ coach Brian Casey couldn’t have been more pleased with his team’s performance at home in the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, which included a 6-4 win Sunday afternoon that followed a 10-2 victory Saturday night.
While Casey said there are a few areas that need tweaking, overall, he’s happy with the results and especially with the players’ conditioning to start the season.
“We like play a high-paced game and in order to do that you have to be in good shape,” said Casey. “I was pleased with their conditioning the weekend. It was obvious the guys looked after themselves in the offseason.”
Casey said all four lines contributed to the effort.
“Obviously, I’m pleased with the way we started the season,” said Casey. “We were fortunate to get some (four) power play goals in Saturday’s game which produced a pretty good scoring gap. We had a lot more jump in the first game and it seemed everything was going our way.”
Tony Whitehead’s pair of goals, including the game-winning, power play marker, paced the Cataracts win Sunday. Andre Gill, Mike Brent, Chad Earle and Jeremy Bishop also scored for the winners.
Colin Power, Tyler Gale and Chris Morrison scored for Mount Pearl.
“It was a good start,” said Casey of the double win, “and now we want to take this momentum into next week.”
Meanwhile, at Clarenville, the Caribous raised the Allan Cup Canadian senior championship banner in the opening ceremonies and Andrew Sweetland sent the 1,500 fans home happy with the shootout winner as the ’Bous beat Eastlink Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars 5-4 for a sweep of the home-and-home series.
This is the first time since 1989 there’s been a provincial senior league format. Corner Brook Royals, the league’s fifth team, will see action next weekend.
Clarenville crushed the CeeBees 10-3 at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace Saturday night to start the season.
Brandon Roche, Chris Hulit, Steve Yetman and Ryan Desrosier had the goals for Clarenville Sunday. Keith Delaney, Ryan Delaney, Mike Stevens and Mike Dyke scored for C.B.N. in regulation play.
The Caribous outshot the CeeBees 37-33. Clarenville Goalkeeper Jason Churchill picked up the win over Doug Jewer.
Next week has Clarenville playing Mount Pearl at the Glacier Friday and Saturday, while Grand Falls-Windsor will travel to Corner Brook Saturday and Sunday for a pair of games at the Pepsi Centre.
Caribous 10, CeeBees 3
Five players — Hulit, Sweetland, Dustin Russell, Steve Yetman and Chris Ennis — each scored twice to pace the Caribous.
Matt Thomey, Kyle Doucet and Morgan Warren replied for C.B.N.
Churchill was in net for Clarenville. Freddy Diamond was between the pipes for the CeeBees.
Cataracts 10, Blades 2
Mike Sibley,Whitehead, Chad Earle and Andrew Brennan each scored twice for the Cataracts. Jeremy Bishop and Brandon Nicholas had the other goals.
Nathan Welton and Kenny King replied for Mount Pearl.