‘Bous, Cats both a win away from berths in Herder final

John Browne
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CeeBees keep keeping it close, but trail Clarenville 3-1; defending champs take two from Royals in Corner Brook

Clarenville Caribous’ goaltender Devon O’Brien pounces on a loose puck with Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars’ captain Matthew Thomey (left) on the doorstep late in the third period of Game 3 of their Newfoundland Senior Hockey League semifinal at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace Friday night. The Caribous won Friday’s game 7-6 and prevailed 3-2 in a rematch Saturday in Harbour Grace to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. — Photo by Nicholas Mercer/Transcontinental Media/The Compass

The Clarenville Caribous own a 3-1 lead in their Newfoundland Senior Hockey League semifinal with the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars, but Caribous’ head coach Ivan Hapgood doesn’t think his team should be feeling too self-satisfied.

Clarenville won the last two games of the series on the CeeBees’ home ice in Harbour Grace and can clinch the best-of-seven set with a win at home this Friday, but Hapgood says he saw a few chinks in his team’s armour over the weekend at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium, where the Caribous posted a pair of one-goal victories.

On Saturday, Clarenville built up a 3-0 lead over two periods and held on for a 3-2 win, That was after outlasting the CeeBees 7-6 Friday night.

“For whatever reason, we seem to be having trouble holding on to the lead,” said Hapgood, noting his team was up 5-2 at one point Friday but still had to pull out the win with two late third-period goals.

“I’ve been around a while and it seems to me that one time, when you got a team down you buried them, but that doesn’t seem to be the way the game’s played now.

“The killer instinct isn’t there and it’s really puzzling.”

On the positive side, Hapgood said the Caribous played a lot tighter defensively Saturday compared to Friday.

“There were a lot of odd-man rushes Friday night,” he said. “The puck was like rubber ball and there were a lot of giveaways and turnovers.”

Despite the fact the Caribous will be playing in the friendly atmosphere of the Clarenville Events Centre for Game 5, Hapgood doesn’t put much faith in home-ice advantage these days.

”Home ice usually means you are more comfortable. But comfortable doesn‘t always mean better,” he said.

“All the games so far have been won by one goal and I don’t see things changing the rest of the way.”

The CeeBees won Game 1 of the series 3-2 in Clarenville, while the Caribous rebounded with a 6-5 home-ice win in Game 2.

Game time Friday is 8 p.m.

The winner of the series will advance to the Herder Memorial Trophy provincial championship to face whichever club emerges from the other semifinal. The defending Herder champion Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts lead that series 3-1 after beating the Corner Brook Royals twice over the weekend at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook


Caribous 3, CeeBees 2 (Saturday)

At Harbour Grace, Bryan Duffett, Ryan Desrosiers and Steven Yetman scored for the Caribous, who got 25 saves from netminder Jason Churchill, while C.B.N. goalie Doug Jewer made 34 saves.

Mike Dyke and Chris Sparkes scored for the CeeBees.

Caribous 7, CeeBees 6 (Friday)

Brandon Roach’s goal with 28 seconds left in the third period gave the Caribous the win.

Andrew Sweetland notched a pair of goals for Clarenville. Chris Hulit, Dale Sullivan, Steven Yetman and Matthew Bragg had singles.

Keith Delaney and Kyle Doucet scored twice for the CeeBees. Mike Dyke and Ryan Delaney scored singles.

Devon O’Brien had 38 saves for Clarenville, while Jewer made 27 saves for C.B.N.


Cataracts 6, Royals 0 (Sunday)

At Corner Brook, the Cataracts took a 3-1 stranglehold in the other semifinal with a  6-0 shutout of the Royals after eking out a 4-3 victory Saturday night at the Pepsi Centre.

Chris Peach, Ryan Penney, Mike Sibley  Chad Earle, Tyler Whitehead and Matt Quinn provided the Cats’ offence with single markers, while Grand Falls goalie Mark Yetman turned aside all 32 shots sent his way.

Like the CeeBees, the Royals now face the prospect of elimination in an away contest on Friday night. That’s when Game 5 of the series will be played at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor.


With files from The Western Star

Organizations: Newfoundland Senior Hockey League, Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars, Clarenville Events Centre for Game 5 Pepsi Centre.Chris Peach

Geographic location: Clarenville, Corner Brook, S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium Corner BrookCLARENVILLE VS Grand Falls Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium Grand Falls-Windsor.jbrowne Western Star

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Recent comments

  • Cataracts Fan
    March 13, 2012 - 07:36

    6287 fans = $133,347 1100 fans = $23,331 wow what a difference. Dan, if it wasn't for the townie players the west teams wouldn't have a team. Don't turn it in to a townie-baymen rant, I'm glad the boys from st. john's play on our team, if they didn't we wouldn't have to worry about a herder. We waited 30 years for it to return to Grand Falls. The Caribous and Cataracts have not kept sr. hockey alive. Again, it was 30 years between herders in Grand Falls. the Deer Lake Red Wings, Southern Shore Breakers, Flatrock Flyers, Conception Bay CeeBees, La Scie Jets..........etc kept sr. hockey alive when the teams in the 80's paid their players too much. Much like today.

  • Dan
    March 12, 2012 - 22:14

    Hey Lenny, if you and the rest of the townies want to see the Herder, get your own team. Losers, you wouldn't win anyway.

  • Lenny
    March 12, 2012 - 19:10

    Dan: The people in Grand Falls certainly complain a lot. Grow up, they have decided where the Herder will be played. Get over it! Cats Fan is 100% correct!

  • hockey Fan
    March 12, 2012 - 15:48

    It's disgusting that HNL will not let these teams play for the HERDER in their own rinks, if they make it. HNL has turned their backs on hockey fans in Clarenville and Grand Falls-Windsor, the very people who have kept Senior Hockey alive in the two towns. HNL has made a complete farce of the Herder, forcing hockey fans to travel for hours to watch "their team", play a home game. Jack Lee wants to show case the HERDER, mission accomplished, by the time this "joke" makes its way across the country.

  • trouty
    March 12, 2012 - 15:03

    Mile One Holds 6287 not sure where you get 6600 as the building don't hold that much rooM

  • Cats Fan
    March 12, 2012 - 13:22

    Mile One sold more tickets on day one of sales than the joe byrne would've sold for 4 sellout games. Almost 5000 tickets for games one and two were sold, and the Joe Byrne holds 1100. If you want to pay the players the money they are getting, you have to generate the revenue from somewhere. If not it will be 1989 all over again. At $21.21/ticket, a mile one sellout (approx 6600 tickets) = roughly $140,000. At $21.21/ticket a Joe Byrne Sellout of 1100 tickets would equal $23,331. Grand Falls would have to sell tickets at $127 each to equal the same revenue. I'm a cats fan and this is obviously beneficial to all teams.

  • Dan
    March 12, 2012 - 10:31

    Where's Waldo? Casey is too intelligent for Fitzgerald. Go Cats Go!

  • Don
    March 12, 2012 - 10:29

    Cats and Clarenville in the Herder finals. Clarenville has a new state of the art building and Joe Byrne had a $3 million upgrade.....but the games will be played in St. John's and Corner Brook. Sounds like a Newfie joke to me. With Jack Lee at the helm....what else do you expect?