CeeBees’ playoff hopes on the line

Kenn Oliver
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The CeeBees are a point out of fourth place heading into their final two NSHL regular-season home games this weekend.— Photo by Nick MercerTranscontinental Media/The Compass

Corey Crocker says all 23 players on the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars believe the team will be involved playoff hockey at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in a few weeks time.

“The guys know what’s at stake,” says the CeeBees’ coach. “We’ve got two games at home and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Those games — tonight against the Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades and Saturday night against the Corner Brook Royals — are the last of the regular season at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium for the CeeBees, who close out the schedule with back-to-back games against the Royals at Corner Brook’ Pepsi Centre next weekend.

 But Crocker insists C.B.N. is in the one-game-at-a-time mode, especially since a win tonight would see the CeeBees take control of their own destiny. It would put them a point up on the Blades,  and if they continue winning and beat the Royals in the remaining three games, they would finish ahead of Mount Pearl, no matter what the Blades do the rest of the way.

“We’re going to take care of tonight first,” Crocker said. “We’re not looking ahead to Saturday. If we do, we’ll get behind the eight-ball.”

The CeeBees are 3-5 since Crocker took over for the fired Steve Power earlier this season, but that record could very well be 5-3 were it not for a pair of 4-3 shootout losses to the Blades last weekend.

“But we did manage to get points, which is a positive,” says a confident-sounding Crocker. “It’s all about making progress each week, with the goal to make the playoffs.”

Unfortunately for Crocker and his charges, time is running out.

“We’re not making excuses. We’re in this hole because of what we did and we have to get ourselves out of it. I think it’ll be a great battle.”

When Crocker initially stepped in as coach, his first goal in turning the team around was “changing the atmosphere” around the CeeBees.

“The CeeBees have a rich history back to the 1960s and we had to rejuvenate that and what it means to play for the CeeBees.

“They needed to take pride in winning again.”

Crocker also made sure the players started to be accountable for what was happening on the ice.

“The message I sent to the players was that this is not minor hockey where we’re developing players. We’re picking men to play in a provincial senior league and we want to win. You have to take it serious and be accountable every single game if you want to win because it is such a tight league.”

With the experience and leadership on the team, Crocker believes his message didn’t fall on deaf ears.

“I don’t have to motivate that much,” he says. “There are leaders who are going to do that and you know the guys are going to be ready.”

Attendance at S.W. Moores has been down all season, but Crocker hopes to see the stands packed with fans supporting the CeeBees tonight and Saturday.

“Harbour Grace is a tough place to play for opposing teams and a full house is like a seventh player on the ice.”

In other games this weekend, the Clarenville Caribous welcome the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts to town for a pair of games Saturday and Sunday. Also on Sunday, the Royals are at the Glacier to take on the Blades.

 

koliver@thetelegram         Twitter@telykenn

 

Standings

Team     GP    W    L    SOL    Pts

Clarenville    22    16    4    2    34

Grand Falls-Windsor    20    12    6    2    26

Corner Brook    20    10    10    0    20

Mount Pearl    20    7    10    3    17

C.B.N.    20    6    10    4    16

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Jacobs Ladder
    February 17, 2012 - 12:39

    You mean they pays Morgan Warren and he got 3 points this year? Money well spent.

  • Thunder Ron
    February 17, 2012 - 11:06

    Wow, a league that flies players in but cant figure out how to all wear the same colour helmets. Bush league!

    • M
      February 17, 2012 - 14:42

      Thunder Ron, When people refer to 'bush' leagues, they are referring to leagues like the NLSHL. What do you think a bush league is if it is not this? Your comment lacks attention to the obvious.

  • BR
    February 17, 2012 - 10:08

    I wonder how many guys fly in to play hockey. Would be nice to know where the revenue is going but I doubt if teams would disclose that.

  • The Lin Factor
    February 17, 2012 - 08:04

    3-5, maybe you should hold yourself accountable seeing they are flying you in and paying you to coach. Fans aren't paying to go the moores stadium to pay for your flights down and back. They lost three in a row now the blame has to fall on someone's shoulders. Its a good effort to steer it clear of yourself.

    • HockeyDave
      February 17, 2012 - 11:11

      The ceebees fly in Colin Archer and coach Crocker from Nova Scotia at that's it. They have four imports on their roster but three of them live here. Morgan Warren has been living here for years, Kyle Doucet works with the provincial government and Jarred Tuton is living here as his girlfriend attends MUN med school. Most of the imports in the league are flown in from all over the country but the ceebees are saving a lot of money by having their guys living here.