© — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
Mount Pearl Blades goalie Ryan Mior stops a shot from the Clarenville Caribous’ Ryan Desrosiers as the Blades’ Andrew Hill hooks him during the teams’ Newfoundland Senior Hockey League game Saturday night at the Glacier in Mount Pearl. Hill was penalized on the play. The Caribous won 8-2.
There are still a couple of weeks left in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League’s 2013-14 regular season, but the first-round matchups for the NLSHL playoffs have already been established.
The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, who lead the West Division and top the league overall standings, will get a first-round bye, as will the East-leading Clarenville Caribous.
The Cataracts and Caribous both clinched their spots over the weekend. The Cataracts knocked off the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars in a pair of games at Grand Falls-Windsor, while the Caribous guaranteed themselves a first-place division finish by splitting a pair of games in Mount Pearl with the H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades.
The Western Royals and Gander Flyers, who faced each other three times over the weekend, will meet up in a best-of-five opening round series, with the Royals holding home advantage.
The other first-round series will see the Blades taking on the CeeBees. As it stands, Mount Pearl will have the extra home game, but the Stars still have a shot at gaining that advantage.
Also to be decided will be first place overall, which would come into play if the Cataracts and Caribous both advance all the way to the Herder Trophy provincial senior hockey final. Grand Falls-Windsor now leads Clarenville by four points, but each team has four games remaining, including head-to-head matchups in a pair of season-closing games Feb. 8-9 in Clarenville.
On Sunday, Sean Wadden had the game’s lone goal and Patrick O’Brien posted the shutout as the Flyers blanked the visiting Royals 1-0; Chris Mooney had two goals and two assists to lead Mount Pearl to a 6-3 win over Clarenville and the Cataracts blasted the CeeBees for a second straight day, winning 9-2.
Flyers 1, Royals 0
At the Gander Community Centre, O’Brien made 40 saves, making Wadden’s early second-period goal stand up for the win.
Cataracts 9, CeeBees 2
With their Sunday win at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, the CeeBees scored the first goal of the game, but that was their only lead as the Cataracts put on an offensive show. In its two wins over the Stars, Grand Falls-Windsor outscored the visitors 15-4.
Scoring details of Sunday’s game were unavailable
Blades 6, Caribous 3
At the Glacier, Blake Gallagher joined Mooney with a two-goal performance for Mount Pearl, which also got markers from Mark Tobin and Ryan Graham and three assists from Steve Yetman.
Dustin Russell, Andrew Sweetland and Ryan Desrosiers had the goals for Clarenville, which nailed down first place in the East with an 8-2 triumph over the Blades on Saturday night.
Saturday at The Glacier, Mount Pearl
Clarenville Caribous 8, Mount Pearl Blades 2
Clarenville — Keith Delaney (2-3), Chad Earle (2-1), Ryan Delaney (1-2), Andrew Sweetland (1-1), Ryan Desrosiers (1-1), Kenny Mahoney (1G), Martin Lapointe (3A), Dale Sullivan (2A), Nick Croft (2A)
CeeBees — Ryan Graham (1-1), Spencer Jezegou (1G), Blake Gallagher (2A)
Jason Churchill, Clarenville (25 saves); Ryan Mior, Mount Pearl (30 shots, 24 saves), Doug Jewer, Mount Pearl (nine shots, seven saves)
Clarenville 3-5; Mount Pearl 1-3
Saturday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, Grand Falls-Windsor
Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 6, Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars 2
Grand Falls-Windsor — Andre Gill (1-2), Brandon Nicholas (1-1), Cam Fergus (1-1), Brandon Street (1G), Alex Dalley (1G), Andrew Pearcey (1G), Rob Hennigar (2A)
CeeBees — Ben Duffy (1G), Ray Dalton (1G)
A.J. Whiffen, Grand Falls-Windsor (25 saves); Roger Kennedy, CeeBees (35 saves)
Grand Falls-Windsor 1-3; CeeBees 1-7
Saturday at Gander Community Centre
Western Royals 5, Gander Flyers 3
Western — Scott Doody (1-1), Stephen Simms (1G), Justin Barbour (1G), Colin Power (1G), Parker Deighan (1G), Michael Hynes (2A), Mathieu Berube (2A)
Gander — Peter Campbell (1-2), Chad Locke (1-1), Jeremy Van Hoof (1-1)
Bryan Gillis, Western (27 saves); Patrick O’Brien, Gander (36 saves)
Gander, 3-3; Western, 1-9
Friday at Hodder Memorial Complex, Deer Lake
Gander Flyers 4, Western Royals 2
Gander — Chad Locke (2G), Sean Wadden (2G), Steve Brazil (3A), Brad Slaney (2A)
Western — Mark Robinson (1-1), Darren Langdon (1G)
Patrick O’Brien, Gander (55 saves); Bradley Dyke, Western (17 saves)
Western 1-5; Gander 2-5