The Clarenville Caribous used their speed and ability to cycle the puck to control the first 10 minutes of Game 1 of the Telegram Herder Memorial Trophy Championship Series at Mile One Saturday night.
After that, however, it was almost all Cataracts as the team from Grand Falls-Windsor went on to collect a 5-1 win.
“That’s what we wanted to do,” says Cataracts goalie Mark Yetman “We wanted to weather the first 10 minutes.”
Yetman, who is coming off back-to-back shutouts over the Corner Brook Royals in the semifinal round, stopped 24 of 25 shots faced and credits his defencemen with doing a great job in front of him.
“Our gap was a big thing,” Yetman says. “Every time we turned over up by their blueline they’d want to counter attack and come at us quick, but we were just shutting them down.”
Even though they controlled most of the opening frame, Clarenville mustered just six shots on Yetman. Caribous coach Ivan Hapgood says where the Cataracts’ goalie is concerned, his team will have to do better.
“He’s no different goalie in this league, if you let him see the puck he’s going to stop it, so we’ve got to get some traffic in front of him and take more shots.”
Getting more shots out of his team proved difficult in Game 1 as his stable of highly skilled forwards seemed tentative in the face of hard checking and suffocating defence from the Cataracts.
“They had a third guy back most times, so it wasn’t so easy to execute in their end.”
That said, Hapgood contends his team might have been trying to do too much with the puck on their stick.
“We were looking for the trailing guy and looking to make too many passes. We had been concentrating on shoot-shoot-shoot all along. Tonight, for some reason, we got away from that and tried to make the extra passes.”
Clarenville netminder Jason Churchill looked shaky from the start, giving up two goals on the first four shots. Hapgood was undecided whether he will stick with the Allan Cup MVP goalie or turn to backup Devin O’Brien for Game 2 on Sunday.
Chad Earle led the Cats’ attack with two goals, Andre Gill finished with a goal and a helper, with singles from Martin Lapointe, and David Philpott.
Matt Bragg scored the Herd's only goal, a powerplay marker.
The series resumes 2 p.m. Sunday with Game 2 at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. The Telegram will once again be providing play-by-play updates at thetelegram.com.
Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 5, Clarenville Caribous 1
1. Cataracts, Martin Lapointe (unassisted) 11:34
2. Cataracts, Andre Gill (Tyler Whitehead) 12:30
Penalties — Chad Earle GF-W (interference) 13:24; Ryan Desrosiers, CL (high sticking) 13:40; Gill, GF-W (slashing) 15:08; Chris Hulit, CL (slashing) 18:22
3. Cataracts, Earle (Gill) 8:56
4. Caribous, Matt Bragg (Dale Sullivan, Andrew Sweetland) 11:45 PP
Penalties — Greg Hoffe GF-W (interference) 1:10; Dustin Russell CL (crosschecking) 3:27; Jeremy Kavanagh CL (inteference) 5:57; Jordan Smith CL (roughing) 7:54; Brandon Nicholas GF-W (roughing) 7:54; Whitehead GF-W (inteference) 9:16; Ryan Penney GF-W (boarding) 10:27; Wes Welcher GF-W (hooking) 18:22
5. Cataracts, Earle (unassisted) 14:46
6. Cataracts, David Philpott (Matt Quinn, Sam Hounsell) 18:56 PP
Penalties — Nathan Morry CL (high sticking) 16:44; David Victor CL (roughing) 18:56
Shots on goal by
Cataracts 9-7-1: 26
Caribous 6-10-5: 25
Goal (shots-saves) — Cataracts: Mark Yetman (24/25); Caribous: Jason Churchill (21/26)
Power plays (goals-chances) — Cataracts (1-5); Caribous (1-5)
Referees — Colin Abbott, Dean Whelan; Linesmen — Darrell Butt, Tyler Hill
Attendance — 5,100