Funny how things work out

Kenn Oliver
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Cody Roach made the CeeBees last fall, but is playing for Cataracts this spring

Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts' forward Cody Roach (right) tries to work the puck in front of the net during a West Coast Senior Hockey League game against the Corner Brook Royals earlier this season. Roach, a Bay Roberts native, tried out for, and made, the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars before the 2010-11 season, but ended up going to the Cataracts, who are facing the Avalon East champion CeeBees in the Telegram Herder Memorial Championship Series.

Depending on what happens in Grand Falls-Windsor this weekend, Cody Roach might find it hard to get a break in traffic or even get a hot cup of coffee at Tim Hortons in his native Bay Roberts.

Roach is a third-line forward for the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, who lead his  hometown Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars 2-0 in the Telegram Herder Memorial Championship Series.

The best-of-seven provincial hockey final resumes Friday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium after the West Coast league champion Cataracts won the first two games last weekend at Mile One Centre in St. John’s.

Roach helped the Cataracts to a win over the Eastlink Ceebee Stars with a goal and assist in the series-opening 3-2 double overtime victory and was on the ice with linemates Matt Quinn and Mike Sibley when Sibley potted the winning goal in Sunday’s 5-4 victory in Game 2.

Before the 2010-11 got underway, the 22-year-old, who wrapped up a four-year stint with the Nova Scotia junior B league’s Cumberland Cool Blues last year, had every intention of playing for the CeeBees.

He had gone through the tryouts, survived the cuts, signed with the club and was ready to hit the ice.

“It came right down to the last week and I was talking to (coach Ian Moores) and he said I would be sitting out the first game against Mount Pearl,” Roach recounts.

“Knowing the CeeBees had a lot of guys returning and a lot of good hockey players already, I wasn’t sure about my ice time.”

After securing his release from the CeeBees, Roach called the Cataracts — whose lineup included Sam Hounsell and Andrew Brennan, his former midget teammates — and got himself a spot on the roster.

“I was a little bit disappointed at first because my cousin (Brandon Roach) is playing there (with the CeeBees) and it would have been a good opportunity for me and him to play together for the first time.

“But it ended up working out well. I’m getting lots of ice time,” says  Roach, who racked up 13 points in 19 regular season WCSHL games .

“It was pretty easy to walk on and adapt.

Saturday’s Game 1 marked the first time Cody and Brandon played against each other this season.

“I was kind of nervous at first because he’s a bit of a bigger guy,” the five-foot-seven Cody says of his six-foot-two cousin.

Regardless, at one point in Saturday’s Game 1, he sent Brandon on his back with a body check.

“He was going back for the puck and when he turned, he kind of turned right into me. I had to keep going.”

Brandon Roach  says “it was more my fault than it was his hit.”

“I made myself vulnerable, so I guess I’ll have to even the score

“I was hoping he would come down one-on-one at one time, but he made the smart play and dumped the puck and went for a change.”

Both players live at home with their parents, who, not surprisingly, live within a stone’s throw of one another in Bay Roberts.

Cody and Brandon actually work together during the off-season and sporadically throughout the winter months at a family business shared by their fathers Edsel (Cody) and Gary (Brandon).

“My dad and his have a business across the road and I live right across the road from that and he lives up on the hill behind me,” says Brandon.

“I’m sure with so many people coming and going down at work, everyone’s trying to get the scoop on what’s going on. It definitely makes things interesting.”

There’s a healthy rivalry going on with the Roach clan, but one way or another they’ll be celebrating a Herder championship this spring.

Organizations: Tim Hortons, Telegram Herder Memorial Championship Series

Geographic location: Falls, Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, West Coast Nova Scotia Mount Pearl

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