© — Photo by Rod Bennett/Action Sports Shots
The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts’ Ron Hennigar (11) jumps out of the way of a blast from teammate Luke Gallant on Western Royals goaltender Bryan Gillis during the teams’ Newfoundland Senior Hockey League game Sunday afternoon at the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor. At right is Royals defenceman Zach Firlotte. The Royals blanked the Cats 3-0, to complete a sweep of the teams’ home-and-home series following a 5-3 win Saturday night in Deer Lake.
Royals, Caribous gain on league leading Cataracts with weekend sweeps
They’ve been leading the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (NLSHL) all season, but the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts may be in danger of being overtaken by the Herd.
On Sunday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls, the Western Royals shut out the Cats 3-0 to take both ends of a weekend home-and-home series. On Saturday in Deer Lake, the Royals had prevailed 5-3.
Those results, combined with the Clarenville Caribous’ two-game sweep of the Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades, leave the Cataracts just one point ahead of second-place Clarenville. Grand-Falls-Windsor has a game in hand.
Sunday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, Bryan Gillis posted the shutout and Justin Barbour, Matthew Thomey and Mathieu Berube scored power-play goals for the Royals, who have handed the Cataracts three of their four losses this season.
Meanwhile at the Clarenville Events Centre, the Caribous were beating the Blades 5-1.
Jeremy Barron, Kenny Mahoney and captain Dustin Russell scored in the first period for Clarenville, which also got goals from Brad Crann and newcomer Chad Earle, the latter acquired in a trade earlier this week that sent goaltender Roger Kennedy to the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars.
The CeeBees were also getting immediate dividends from that trade, with Kennedy backstopping them to a weekend sweep of the visiting Gander Flyers.
On Sunday at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace, defenceman Mike Dyke had a hat trick as the CeeBees blasted Gander 10-3.
Newly-arrived imports Ben Duffy and Matt Quinn also had goals for the winners, as did Colin Escott, Wes Welcher, Fred Earle, Jordan Escott and Andrew Smith.
Royals 5, Cataracts 3 (Saturday)
At the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in Deer Lake, Mark Robinson’s goal with less than three minutes remaining in the game proved to be the winner for Western, which also got two markers from Barbour, another from Berube and an empty-netter by Michael Hynes.
Cam Fergus, Kyle McGuirk and Andre Gill scored for Grand-Falls-Windsor, which was playing its first game in four weeks, owing to the league's Christmas break and the cancellation of last weekend's games
CeeBees 6, Flyers 1 (Saturday)
At Harbour Grace, Duffy scored twice and added an assist in his first NLSHL contest.
Before being signed by the CeeBees this week, Duffy, a 21-year-old from Halifax, had been in the pro ranks this season, splitting time between the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs and ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers. As a junior, he had been a teammate of the CeeBees’ Jordan Escott with the Rocket (now Charlottetown Islanders), for whom Duffy registered 341 points in 266 career games, including a franchise-record 110 points last season.
Former Flyer Quinn, also signed to an import card this week, added a marker for the CeeBees, as did Ray Dalton, Colin Feehan and Matt Bragg.
Steve Brazil was the only Gander player to beat Kennedy.
Caribous 6, Blades 3 (Saturday)
At Clarenville, Ryan Desrosiers scored twice for the Caribous.
Andrew Sweetland, Martin Lapointe, Dale Sullivan and Stephen Oates also scored for the winners, while Steve Yetman, newly-signed Spencer Jezegou and Cory Blackmore had the goals for the Blades.
The win came on the night the Caribous honoured former Clarenville captain Les Stanley with the retirement of his jersey.