The Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Blades spent the 2012-13 Newfoundland Senior Hockey League season on the sidelines, supposedly regrouping and retooling for the current provincial senior hockey campaign. So far, it’s been so good for the Blades at an even 4-4 in the win-loss column, with the highlight of the season a 4-3 decision over the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts Sunday afternoon.
The Mount Pearl Blades’ Mark Tobin (88) falls as teammate Cory Blackmore (centre) takes up position in front of Grand Falls-Windsor netminder A.J. Whiffen while Cataracts defencemen Rodi Short (left) and Mike Brent (right) look on during the teams’ NLSHL game Saturday night in Grand Falls-Windsor. The Cataracts won 3-0, but lost their first of the season Sunday, falling 4-3 to the Blades.
— Photo by Rod Bennett/Action Sports Shots
The loss at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, in what was once known as the Paper Town, was the Cataracts’ first in eight games, knocking Grand Falls-Windsor from the unbeaten ranks at 7-1.
“We’re a young team, but a hard-working team and we’re in good shape,” said the Blades’ Ryan Graham, who scored once and had two assists Sunday. “We’re not pretty by any stretch, but we’re energetic.”
The Blades were blanked 3-0 by the Cataracts Saturday night as A.J. Whiffen stopped 25 shots for the shutout.
“We skated very well with them Saturday, so if nothing else we knew we could play with them,” said Graham, a 26-year-old Mount Pearl native who toiled four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Gatineau Olympiques, St. John’s Fog Devils and Acadie-Bathurst Titan before playing for Acadia in Atlantic intercollegiate play.
“No doubt, it was a big win for us, a real confidence boost,” he said. “We always shoot for a split on the road and that was no different this weekend.”
Robert Barrett, a graduate of the Mount Pearl junior program, scored the game-winner at 13:19 of the second period, with Graham and Blake Gallagher drawing the assists. Gallagher and Steve Bailey, another Blades’ junior grad, also scored for the winners. Greg Hoffe, Brandon Street and Andre Gill scored for the Cataracts. League scoring leader Rob Hennigar had two asssist for the Cataracts.
Marek Benda started the game in goal for Mount Pearl, but was replaced by Ryan Mior after a Luke Gallant shot injured Benda late in the first period. Whiffen was between the pipes for Grand Falls-Windsor.
Clarenville 7, C.B.N. 3
At the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium Sunday in Harbour Grace, Dale Sullivan had two goals and an assists, while Martin Lapointe, Ryan Desrosiers and Andrew Sweetland all had a goal and two assists for the Caribous.
Brandon Roach and Ryan Delaney also scored for the winners, who received a 38-save effort from Roger Kennedy.
Replying for the Eastlink CeeBee Stars were Mitch Bragg, Chad Earle and Ray Dalton.
Joey Perricone faced 52 shots in the C.B.N. goal.
Grand Falls-Windsor 3, Mount Pearl 0
At Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, Cam Fergus had a goal and assist, and Scott Cantwell and Brandon Street also scored for the Cataracts. Hennigar and Gallant each had two assists.
Mior made 41 saves in the Blades’ net.
C.B.N. 3, Clarenville 2
In Harbour Grace, Cody Roach scored two goals and Perricone made 33 saves for the CeeBees. Nick Theriault also scored for the winners, who elected to go without the services of top-scoring import David Ling for the weekend.
Mike Dyke had two assists.
Ryan Delaney and Sullivan replied. Jason Churchill faced 36 shots in the Caribous’ net.
Western 6, Gander 3
At the Gander Community Centre, Michael Hynes scored three goals for the visiting Royals. Also scoring for Western were Parker Deighan, Justin Barbour and Brian Barker. Grant Donovan, Sean Wadden and Steve Brazil had the Flyers’ goals.
Bryan Gillis made 24 saves in the Western goal. Patrick O’Brien was busy in the Gander net with 43 stops.
Western 5, Gander 1
At the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in Deer Lake, Matt Thomey and Mathieu Berube both had two goals for the winners. Hynes added a single, and Deighan assisted on three goals.
Steve Pearson replied for the Flyers.
Shots on goal were 34-22 for the Royals. Gillis got the win over Devon O’Brien, who was replaced by Patrick O’Brien.