The Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades may be surpising some people in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League at the Christmas break, but the players have started to believe in themselves.
The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts Brandon Bussey and the Gander Flyers’ Ryan Matheson battle for a loose puck at their feet in front of Gander netminder Devon O’Brien during the teams’ Newfoundland Senior Hockey League game at the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor Saturday night. The Cataracts won 7-4. — Photo by Rod Bennett/Action Sports Shots
The Blades swept a home-and-home series against the C.B.N. Eastlink CeeBee Stars on the weekend, giving them 16 points, three behind second-place Clarenville Caribous.
The Blades defeated the CeeBees 7-4 at The Glacier in Mount Pearl Friday before edging C.B.N. 4-3 in a shootout at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace Saturday.
In other games over the weekend, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts swept a home-and-home series against Gander Flyers to stay atop the standings with a 12-2 mark. Clarenville took both games against Western Royals at the Clarenville Events Centre.
The double win for Mount Pearl has given the Blades a definite lift, said the Blades’ Ryan Graham, who scored the shootout winner on Saturday.
“We didn’t have high expectations as a new team coming into the league,” said Graham, but things may have changed some given the team’s 8-6 record to date.
Mount Pearl is back in the provincial senior circuit after a one-year hiatus, but Graham says the team is not, “surprised to be where we are in the standings. A lot of guys are working hard and it’s going quite well.
“It’s nice to get a couple of wins going into the (Christmas) break. It’s the first time we’ve swept a weekend series, so picking up big points in Harbour Grace was good to get,” said Graham, who also had a goal in regulation time in Friday’s win at home.
Graham noted the team will get a little help offensively in the new year when right winger Spencer Jezegou joins the club.
The Oshawa Ont., native played with Graham in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Acadie Bathurst Titan and again at Acadia University.
Jezegou’s best season was with the Titan when he registered 41 points, including 29 goals, in the 2008-09 campaign while picking up 90 penalty minutes.
“He will give us a little more balance up front,” said Graham.
League play resumes Friday, Jan. 3 with Mount Pearl playing host to C.B.N. 7:30 p.m. at the Glacier.
Mount Pearl 4, C.B.N. 3 (SO)
At the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace, Ryan Mior stopped all shots in the shootout to give the Blades the win.
Mike Stevens, Mark Roebothan and Jeremy Nicholas each scored once in regulation time for the Blades. Mior finished with 37 saves.
Chad Earle scored twice for Eastlink CeeBee Stars. Colin Feehan noteched one marker. Joey Perricone made 41 saves in net for the CeeBees.
Grand Falls-Windsor 7, Gander 4
At Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, the Cataracts got two goals each from Andrew Pearcey and Cam Fergus along with single tallies from Kyle McGuirk, Andre Gill and Mike Sibley.
Peter Campbell scored twice for Gander. Grant Donovan and Andrew White had singles.
Goaltending stats were not available.
Clarenville 8, Western 3
At the Clarenville Events Centre, Ryan Desrosiers and Andrew Sweetland each scored twice for the Caribous. Ryan Delaney, Martin Lapointe, Kenny Mahoney and Mitchell Oake had one apiece for the winners.
Stephen Simms, Scott Doody and Ryan Penney replied for the Royals.
Caribous’ goalie Jason Churchill picked up the win with 28 stops, while Bryan Gillis made 42 saves in net for the Royals.
Mount Pearl 7 C.B.N. 4
At The Glacier, the hometown Blades got single tallies from Nicholas, Chris Mooney, Mark Tobin, Grant Kenny, Graham, Steve Tilley and Trevor Thorne to pick up the win.
Tyler Gale, Jordan Escott, Colin Feehan and Earle scored for visitors.
Mior made 23 saves for the Blades, while Perricone had 28 for the CeeBees.
Clarenville 5, Western 3
At the Clarenville Events Centre, the Caribous scored four times in the third period to pull out the win over the Royals.
Keith Delaney, Brandon Roach, Jeremy Barron, Dustin Russell and Sweetland had the goals for the Caribous. Churchill picked up the win with 24 stops.
Mark Robinson, Parker Deighan and Justin Barbour had the goals for the Royals. Bryan Gillis made 37 saves in a losing cause.
Grand-Falls-Windsor 6, Gander 1
At the Gander Community Centre, Gill scored twice to pace the visiting Cataracts. Single tallies came from Brandon Nicholas, Luke Gallant, Rodi Short and Rob Hennigar.
Chad Locke replied for the Flyers.
A.J. Whiffen got the win with 30 saves, while Patrick O’Brien had 38 stops in net for Gander.
Team GP W L OTL PTS
Cataracts 14 10 2 0 24
Caribous 14 8 3 3 19
Blades 14 8 6 0 16
Royals 14 7 5 2 16
CeeBees 14 4 9 1 9
Flyers 14 3 8 3 9