Power blackouts could postpone all-star game

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The Penney Kia St. John’s Junior Hockey League postponed seven games due to the blizzard this past weekend and unless the power situation stabilizes, the circuit could be forced to postpone its all-star game this week.

Jack Lee

The game is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay, but league registrar and statistician Chris Ryan said the decision to go ahead depends on whether the rink is open. “If they are going to open and we think we can make it through the night, then we will go ahead with it. If not, our next step is to look at another date, or, worst-case scenario, cancel the game. “The last we heard from the arena is that they are remaining closed until Wednesday. We were speaking with arena manager Lorne Tucker this morning. … We will be working closely with him over the next 24 to 48 hours and see where we stand.” Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador president Jack Lee asked minor hockey associations to cease operations Monday and today, and Ryan said if the same goes for Wednesday, “we would have no other choice but to follow suit.” “The safety of our players and staff is our main concern and if there was another power outage during the game, the risk of injury would be much higher,” Ryan said. The league’s schedule is a tight one, with all eight teams playing a 28-game regular season and three rounds of best-of-seven playoff series to decide a league champion in time for the Don Johnson Memorial Cup, Atlantic Canada’s Junior B hockey championship being held in April in Port Hawkesbury, N.S. Ryan said the Central-West junior league’s demotion to Junior C status eliminates the need for a weekend-long provincial qualifier following the St. John’s league’s post-season. Still, with “a significant number of games” already having been lost to inclement weather earlier this season, plus the seven weekend postponements and potentially the all-star game, scheduling — or rescheduling — will be a challenge the rest of the way, he said. The executive has decided that making up the lost regular-season contests will be the first priority, Ryan said. Should the 15th annual all-star game go ahead Wednesday, it will feature the City Division attempting to win for the second straight year and seventh time overall. The Avalon Division still has the overall edge in the mid-season classic, with eight wins in 14 contests. The Avalon Division is made up of players from the Southern Shore C&W Offshore Breakers, Trinity-Placentia I.J. Smith Home Building Centre Flyers, C.B.N. MoorFrost Stars and CBR Assante Wealth Management Renegades. The City Division is comprised of players from the St. John’s Hickman Automotive Group Caps, Mount Pearl Mark’s Dakota Wild, Avalon Roebothan McKay Marshall Capitals and BK Services Celtics. Game time is 8 p.m. and admission is $5.

All-Star Rosters

Avalon Forwards: Brandon O’Neil, Mitch King, Trevor Forward (CBR); Evan Francis, Cody Batten, Zach Laing (C.B.N.); Brandon Baird*, Mitchell Martin, Peter Kavanagh (Southern Shore); Ryan Whittle, Adam Green, Greg Edison (Trinity-Placentia) Defencemen: Josh St. George (Trinity-Placentia); Maniese Kendall, Daniel Dalton, D.J. Elliot (Southern Shore); Andrew Smith, Colby Murphy (C.B.N.); Ryan Power, Stephen Ledrew (CBR) Goaltenders: Josh Carey (Southern Shore), Mitchell Dobbin (C.B.N.) Coaches: Mike Glynn, Dave Baird and Cyril Dalton (Southern Shore) City Forwards: Bobby Squires, Michael Cole, Kristian Husk, Ben Cleary (Avalon); Riley Edwards, Ryan Hawco, Ryan Perks (St. John’s); Garrett Murphy, Chris Amminson, (Celtics), Kyle Aucoin, Chad Thompson, Damian Ryan (Mount Pearl) Defencemen: Matt Walsh, Reid Connors (Celtics); Alex Powell*, Davis Gosse (Avalon); Ryan Walsh, Zach Hill, Josh Hawco (St. John’s); Steven Barrett (Mount Pearl) Goaltenders: Doug Pippy (Mount Pearl), Scott Bray (St. John’s) Coaches: David Hutchens, Derrick Hutchens, Justin Clarke, Steve Marshall, Darryl Brown (Avalon)

* denotes team captain

Organizations: Avalon Division, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, Celtics Don Johnson Trinity-Placentia

Geographic location: Torbay, Mount Pearl, Atlantic Canada Port Hawkesbury

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