Mile One Centre is slowly starting to fill up as the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars and Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts get set to play Game 1 of the Telegram Herder Memorial Championship Series.
Cats’ coach Brian Casey says his team will stick to their game plan and keep playing with “lots of energy, lots of jump” just as they have through the playoffs.
“But we’ll be smart about it,” adds the former pro hockey player who has signed a player card for this year’s Herder if the Cats run into roster problems.
At the other end of the rink, CeeBees bench boss Ian Moores expects both teams will feel each other out in the series opener.
There are some roster changes for tonight’s game. The CeeBees’ Graham Jackman, Mike Druken and Chris Petten are healthy scratches, as is import rearguard Jeff Caron. Caron is dressed for tonight’s game, though Moores has listed him as a scratch.
Sitting out Game 1 for the Cats are Trent Budgell, Cory Mitchell, Andrew Brennan and Andrew Whelan.
Freddy Diamond gets the start in net for the CeeBees while former Bell Island Blues netminder Mark Yetman goes between the pipes for the Cataracts.
Prior to tonight’s game, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador will present its annual awards. Awards being presented this evening include the President’s Goaltender Award, given to the provincial senior hockey goalie with the season’s best goals against average; the Telegram Trophy, presented to the provincial senior team with the best winning percentage; the Howie Clouter Memorial Award, which goes to the senior circuits’ most gentlemanly and sportsmanlike player; the T.A. (Gus) Soper Memorial Award, presented to the province’s most valuable senior player; and the S.E. Tuma award for the scoring leader across both leagues. A full report on winners will follow during the first intermission.
Also, during the first intermission, the Subway Avalon East Senior Hockey League will unveil the first and second 20-year all-star teams. The seven-player teams — five skaters, one goalie and a coach — were selected based on fan voting and suggestions from an input committee.
For live updates throughout tonight's game, follow Telegram sports reporter Kenn Oliver on Twitter @KOTelySports and for period-by-period updates, keep checking thetelegram.com