No cause for concern in Clarenville

Robin Short
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Despite losing four of last five — including two to Cataracts this weekend — Caribous confident it won’t be the norm

The Clarenville Caribous escaped Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor with a point Sunday following a 3-2 shootout loss to the homestanding Cataracts, but that’s minor consolation to a team reeling of late.
The Caribous, winners of three Herder Memorial Trophy titles in the past five years, are 5-2-3 on the year, but have only one win in their last five games.

The Western Royals’ Nathan Saunders (centre) winces as a Mount Pearl Blades shot from the point sails toward goalie Bryan Gillis during the teams’ Newfoundland Senior Hockey League game Saturday night at the Glacier. At Gillis’ left is the Blaedes’ Ryan Graham, next to Saunders is Mount Pearl’s Blake Gallagher and Royals defenceman Ashley Coles.

“It’s a little of both,” Clarenville captain Dustin Russell replied when asked in the Caribous’ woes are based on the fact the league is relatively tight this season, or Clarenville just isn’t playing good hockey right now.

“We’re not happy. Usually, we’re winning more games than this. But this is a tough part of the schedule, and our next eight games are at home so we’re looking forward to that.”

The Caribous started the 2013-14 campaign with seven of their first 10 games away from the Clarenville Events Centre. And of their five losses, three have come via the shootout.

“We’ve incorporated some new faces into the lineup,” said Russell of Clarenville newcomers Keith and Ryan Delaney, import Martin Lapointe, rookies Kenny Mahoney, Jeremy Barron, Mike Halitzki and the recently-acquired veteran forward, Terry Ryan.

“So we’re trying to find the right chemistry, and as a result there’s been a lot of different line combinations, trying to find out who works best with whom.

“It’s better we sort these things out at this point in the year than after Christmas when everyone is gearing up for the playoffs.”

Sunday in Grand Falls-Windsor, Brandon Inder netted the shootout winner as the Cataracts improved to 9-1. Scoring in regulation time for the Cats were Brandon Nicholas and Luke Gallant. Lapointe and Dale Sullivan had the Caribous’ goals.

A.J. Whiffen faced 37 shots in the Cataracts’ net. Grand Falls-Windsor fired 36 shots at Roger Kennedy.

C.B.N. 4, Gander 3 (SO)

At the Gander Community Centre, Mike Dyke, Chad Earle, and Chris Sparkes scored in the shootout to give the Eastlink CeeBee Stars a split in the Airport Town.

Dyke, Jordan Escott and Kevin Reid scored in regulation time, and Joey Perricone made 43 saves. Andrew White, with a power play goal, Rob Mignardi, on a shorthanded play, and Steve Pearson found the net for the Flyers. Patrick O’Brien stopped 36 shots.

Gander 7, C.B.N. 4 (Saturday)

In Gander, the Flyers registered their second win on the year thanks to a two-goal game from Peter Campbell. Grant Donovan, Chad Locke, Rob Mignardi and Andrew White all had a goal and an assist. Also scoring for Gander was Steve Brazil. Tyler Whitehead had three assists. Whitehead, an import, is done with the Flyers for the remainder of the regular season, at least, citing work commitments.

Escott had two goals and an assist for the CeeBees. Doug O’Brien and Colin Feehan both had a goal and an assist.

The star of the game for Gander was goaltender Devon O’Brien, who faced 54 C.B.N. shots. Perricone made 33 stops for the visitors.

Grand Falls-Windsor 5, Clarenville 4 (Saturday)

In Grand Falls-Windsor, Gallant and Cam Fergus each had a goal and an assist, and Andre Gill, Rob Hennigar and Andrew Pearcey all collected two assists in a winning cause.

Nicholas, Brandon Street and Rodi Short also scored. Ryan had two goals in a losing cause. Ryan Delaney had a goal and an assist and Sullivan also scored. Keith Delaney had two helpers.

Whiffen, a workhorse once again this season for the Cataracts, appearing in all 10 games, made 31 saves. Kennedy stopped 33 shots.

Mount Pearl 5, Western 3 (Saturday)

At The Glacier in Mount Pearl, Ryan Graham scored two goals for the H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades and Ryan Mior made 39 saves. Mark Roebothan, Mike Stevens and Robert Barrett also scored for the winners. Parker Deighan, Darren Langdon and Matthew Thomey replied.

Bryan Gillis let in five goals and 26 shots.

Western 6, Mount Pearl 4 (Friday)

In Mount Pearl, Michael Hynes had pair of goals and Scott Doody and Langdon, the former NHL enforcer, each had a goal and an assist for the Deer Lake-based Royals. Mathieu Berube and Mark Robinson netted singles. Deighan, Stephen Simms and Justin Barbour all had two assists.

Cory Blackmore had two goals and an assist for the Blades, and Mark Roebothan had a goal and two helpers. Chris Mooney potted the single. Mark Tobin had two assists.

The Royals outshot the Blades 40-29. Goaltenders of record were Mior and Gillis.

Organizations: Flyers, Clarenville Events Centre, Gander Community Centre Airport Town.Dyke Royals Grand Falls-Windsor 5 The Glacier H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades NHL

Geographic location: Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, Grand Falls Mount Pearl Brandon Street Deer Lake

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Recent comments

  • Darrell
    December 03, 2013 - 12:36

    Hey Sam....for a town/city its size, 3 junior championships isn't much to brag about. Mount Pearl would do well in the "participation and be nice to all category" but clearly not a town recognized for winning. Ask anyone who knows anything about sport and they will tell you.

  • Concerned Fan
    December 02, 2013 - 14:56

    Biggest concern in Clarenville should be getting a coach. Fans have been waiting for a while now for Dustin to retire and step behind the bench. Talent can only get you so far, and its time those guys get coached. Sad as a fan.

    • Sam Boney
      December 03, 2013 - 10:14

      They've never had a coach, but talent wins games on occasion. When the going gets tough, Ivan looks to Dustin and the the veterans to make the decisions. "there's a good crowd out there boys, give them their moneys worth", just gets you so far, having to defend against other teams PP and PK strategies is out of the coaches realm. I took in one Bous practice, it was interesting.

  • Steve
    December 02, 2013 - 11:27

    Deep Pockets, I am inclined to agree with you. I grew up and played hockey in Mount Pearl during the ''glory years'' as a youth during the mid to late 80's. This has been a long time coming....youth who have been developed thru Mount Pearl have moved away. But also, residents don't have a sense of connection to the Mount Pearl Blades like they used to. Mount Pearl is definitely a high school hockey town (at least during the Kentucky Cup) but there's little to no connecton like there used to be. I remember seeing kids playing street hockey all over the place. Now the parking lot where games were played on a regular basis just sit empty and unused.

    • Darrell
      December 03, 2013 - 10:10

      Seriously? Mount Pearl's glory years? Other than one good junior team, what glory years are you talking about? Not the Mount Pearl the rest of us know about that's for sure.

    • Sam Boney
      December 03, 2013 - 10:34

      mt. pearl jr teams enjoyed championship seasons in 2003, 2007, and 2009.

  • Deep Pockets
    December 02, 2013 - 07:36

    the blades owner must have deep pockets if he expects to survive the season with only 250+ paying fans. With two free tickets to the game going to each player, there were maybe 250 at each game. this team won't survive another year unless the owner bails them out again. Sad to say mt. pearl is not a hockey town.

    • Darrell
      December 03, 2013 - 10:15

      I agree and I am sick of seeing Harry's face at Canadian Tire with his hand out for a dollar every time I go there. Time for this small minded organization to throw in the towel for good and let Graham and the boys play for some real fans.