Subway Avalon East Senior Hockey League playoff MVP Freddy Diamond deflected praise for his outstanding play in the final pretty much the way the veteran goaltender turned away pucks all series long.
Diamond was outstanding in a final in which the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars won with a 3-1 decision over Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades Friday night before a packed house at The Glacier in Mount Pearl.
But the goalie gave most of the credit to his teammates.
“Everybody did what he could,” said the modest netminder.
Diamond, who made 37 saves in the game, also said the East final may have been the toughest he’s played in.
“Every game was tight and pretty much went down to the end, but I wasn’t surprised because we split our eight games against each other during the regular season,” he said.
The CeeBees lost the opening two games of the best-of-seven series before rebounding to win the next four for the team’s seventh straight Avalon East crown.
“We are fairly new team compared to last year’s, but we came together pretty well. We faced a bit of adversity by losing those first two games against Mount Pearl, but we came through,” said the Bonavista native.
Sean Wadden scored a pair of goals for the CeeBees and Keith Delaney notched the other one. Jon Ball replied for the Blades.
While Diamond is happy to win the Avalon East title, he said the Herder Memorial Trophy is “definitely” the prize the players want the most.
“Every game was tight and pretty much went down to the end, but I wasn’t surprised because we split our eight games against each other during the regular season.” - Freddy Diamond
The CeeBees lost the past two Herder finals to the Clarenville Caribous of the Bud Light West Coast Senior Hockey League.
“I think it will be as tight or tighter than the East series,” he said of the all-Newfoundland senior hockey final.
Diamond anticipates a long, competitive series against the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, who earned a berth in the final by beating Deer Lake Red Wings 4-1 in the best of-seven West Coast senior hockey final.
The CeeBees will work out seven o’clock tonight at Feildian Gardens and hope to get in a least one skate at Mile One Centre before the Herder final begins.
The best-of-seven Telegram Herder Memorial Trophy Championship Series starts 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Mile One in St. John’s with Game 2 going two o’clock Sunday afternoon. Games 3, 4 and 5 are scheduled for the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor the following weekend.
Tickets to Games 1 and 2 go on sale Thursday at 12 noon. The tickets can be purchased at the Mile One Centre Box Office by phoning (709) 576-7657, (toll free) at 1-855-790-1245 or online at www.admission.com.
Tickets are $15.00, tax included plus surcharge.