CeeBee Stars split weekend series with Caribous

Terry Roberts
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Fall 7-3 to visitors on Sunday following gritty win on Saturday night

The hometown Eastlink CeeBee Stars lost 7-3 to the visiting Clarenville Caribous this afternoon at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.

The hometown Eastlink CeeBee Stars lost 7-3 to the visiting Clarenville Caribous this afternoon at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace, dropping the team’s record to a paltry 2-6.

But the weekend wasn’t a total loss for the defending Herder Memorial Trophy champions, who came away with a split from the two-game weekend series with Caribous.

The Stars ended a losing skid Saturday night with a gritty 3-2 win over Clarenville before a crowd of some 500 fans. But Sunday’s contest was a different story, with the visitors wearing down the shorthanded CeeBees late in the game and cruising to a convincing win.

Dale Sullivan led the way with two goals and an assist, while Andrew Sweetland, Martin Lapointe and Ryan Desrosiers all finished with a goal and two helpers. Brandon Roach and Ryan Delaney also scored for the winners.

Mitch Bragg continued his solid play for the CeeBees, finishing with a goal and an assist, while Ray Dalton and Chad Earle rounded out the offence for the losing side.

The CeeBees had more than enough chances to win Sunday’s tilt, with Clarenville taking six minor penalties in the middle frame. However, goaltender Roger Kennedy stood tall when tested, and Clarenville’s big guns rewarded him in the third by unleashing a torrent of shots at Joey Perricone to put the game out of reach.

And for the second straight game, the CeeBees continued to play with a depleted roster. This was especially critical on defence, with stalwarts Doug O’Brien and Fred Earle both out of the lineup. Cody Roach, who scored twice in Saturday’s win, was pressed into service on the blueline.

Up front, the CeeBees were also without Chris Sparkes.

Early pressure

Meanwhile, the Caribous (5-1) came out flying on Sunday, pinning the CeeBees in their own end for much of the first period.

A triumvirate of former CeeBees opened the scoring midway through the first, with Ryan Delaney finding the mark on a set-up from brother Keith Delaney and Terry Ryan to give the visitors the lead.

Dalton answered two minutes later on a power play, blasting a shot past Kennedy to knot the game at 1-1. It was Dalton’s second tally of the season, with captain Mike Dyke credited with the helper.

Another former CeeBee, Brandon Roach, blasted a shot past Perricone at 13:52 of the opening frame to give the Caribous a 2-1 lead. Brad Crann and Mitch Oake assisted.

When the buzzer sounded to end the first, the Caribous had fired 19 shots at Perricone, who came up big on a number of occasions. At the other end, Kennedy had faced 10 shots.

Missed opportunities

The momentum shifted in favour of the CeeBees in the middle frame, beginning with an unusual goal at the 3:17 mark. A shot by Earle took a wayward bounce off the boards, and deflected off Kennedy and into the net.

Minutes later, the Caribous ran into penalty trouble, with a parade of players heading to the box for various infractions.

Despite pressure, the CeeBees could not solve Kennedy, and this proved costly as the period wore on.

With just four seconds on the clock, Sweetland scored to put the Caribous ahead 3-2. It was a lead the visitors would never relinquish.

The CeeBees seamed to run out of steam in the third period, and the Caribous could sense it.

Sullivan pounced on a rebound following a brilliant pad save by Perricone just 27 seconds into the third to put the Caribous ahead 4-2. Sullivan scored again four minutes later on a laser from about 20 feet out, pushing the lead to three goals.

Lapointe capitalized on a defensive breakdown at the nine-minute mark make the score 6-2, and any hopes of a comeback seemed unlikely.

Bragg scored on a breakaway with just over seven minutes remaining to narrow the gap, but a late maker by Desrosiers put the game away for the Caribous, sending the roughly 400 fans heading for the exits.

Meanwhile, the CeeBee Stars will hit the road next weekend, with games against the Gander Flyers on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

The Caribous travel to Grand Falls-Windsor for two games against the first place Cataracts on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Organizations: S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium

Geographic location: Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor

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