After dropping the opening game of the Telegram Herder Memorial Championship Series 8-2 to the Clarenville Caribous, the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars came back with a far better effort in Game 2.
But it was still not enough, as the CeeBees fell 6-5 in double overtime.
"We stuck to our game plan, did everything we wanted to do, but we couldn't get that extra brake," said CeeBees' blueliner and assistant captain Mike Dyke.
"We beat down the door, but (Caribous' goalie Jason) Churchill came up big."
The Clarenville netminder was peppered with 60 shots on the night, bringing his two-game total to 105.
"Church was huge," said 'Bous defenceman John Ball. "He gives us a lot more confidence where we can do a lot more and take the scattered chance knowing he's back there. He's not giving anything up."
And Churchill can thank two metal-made friends for making at least one save. Late in the first overtime, Ryan Delaney found some room and rifled a shot that deflected off the crossbar, onto the right post and out of the zone.
For the second night in a row, C.B.N. goalie Freddy Diamond had a rough time over the first two periods, giving up five goals on nineteen shots. But, proving his value as a big game performer, he redeemed himself with clutch saves in the final frame and during overtime.
"That's the way he is all year," insists Dyke. "When it comes to the big situation, he's always there for us. We'll continue to count on him the rest of the way."
Clarenville coach Randy Pearcey conceded following the game that the CeeBees "deserved to win."
"I think we stole one here tonight," Pearcey says.
Early in the game, it was evident Eddie Oates had lit a fire beneath his team as the CeeBees scored three quick goals - two on the man-advantage - after the Caribous opened the scoring. Pearcey says his team simply didn't come prepared to play the same game early on.
"We weren't skating. We didn't come out with that same want-to-win attitude they had. These guys came out gunning and we were hauling guys down and hooking them because we were a step behind," Pearcey explained.
"We have to be prepared to come with moxy for the next game."
Another factor Pearcey says kept the game close was the loss of Ryan Penney in the second period. With the CeeBees pressing, Penney delivered what was ruled as a hit from behind on the CeeBees' Ryan Delaney. Penney was tossed and Brad Crann was forced to take his spot on the Delaney-Wadden shutdown line with Grant Kenny and Ryan Power.
"The flow of the game changed from that point. It threw our lines a little off kilter, I couldn't get my fourth line into the game and they used four lines," said Pearcey. "In that first OT, that had a big effect."
The CeeBees meanwhile, have to find an answer for the Mark Chaplin-Chris Mooney-Andrew Pearcey line that connected for eight goals and a combined 18 points over the first two games.
"We gotta hit, hit and hit," Dyke says. "They're a fast team, and every hit is going to pay dividends throughout the series. We've gotta keep hitting to shut down that Pearcey line."
The series resumes 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Mile One, with CeeBees as home team.
CeeBees 5 at Caribous 6 (2OT)
Sunday at Mile One Centre , St. John's
1. Clarenville, Brad Crann (Ryan Lauzon) 3:41
2. C.B.N., Mike Dyke (Matthew Thomey, Chris Crosbie) 11:00 PP
3. C.B.N., Keith Delaney (Ryan Delaney, Ian Moores) 12:23 PP
4. C.B.N., Jeff Oates (Thomey, Mike Stevens) 15:10
5. Clarenville, Andrew Pearcey (Mark Chaplin, Chris Mooney) 18:55
6. Clarenville, Mooney (Pearcey, Jordan Smith)
7. C.B.N., Matthew French (Dyke, K. Delaney) PP
8. Clarenville, Crann (unassisted)
9. Clarenville, Chaplin (Pearcey, Mooney) PP
10. C.B.N., Sean Wadden (French) 18:27
11. Clarenville, Pearcey (Dan Rogers) 17:28
Goal - Clarenville: Churchill (55 svs); C.B.N.: Diamond (31 svs)