Riding a four-game losing streak and outscored 34-17 in the process usually spells change for a hockey club, and such was the case for the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars this week.
Heading into the fourth weekend of the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League season, the CeeBees were busy making roster moves in a bid to snap their slump.
It started with trading senior circuit veteran Terry Ryan to the Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades, along with rookie defenceman Dylan Brake and the CeeBees’ first pick in the next league draft, for centre Wes Welcher.
Ryan was then dealt to the Clarenville Caribous for a third round pick in next year’s draft, thought this deal is still pending league approval.
“The Allan Cup is a huge goal and I wondered if I’d ever get back,” says Ryan, who was the tournament’s top scorer while skating with the Bentley, Atla., Generals at the 2008 national senior hockey championships in Brantford, Ont. “I hope I can bring a good game to Clarenville and get a chance to play in one or two more.”
If Ryan sticks in Clarenville, he’ll likely have his first chance at the Allan Cup this April when the ‘Bous travel to Dundas, Ont. for 106th annual tournament. He could have a second when Clarenville stages the event in 2015, the first time the event has come to Newfoundland since Corner Brook hosted in 1987.
Ryan, 36, has bounced around the senior league a number of times the past two seasons. After the Blades’ dispersal draft prior to last season, Ryan ended up property of the Western Royals, who then traded him to C.B.N. where Ryan ended up winning his first Herder Memorial Trophy.
When the Blades returned this season, it looked like the former NHL first round draft pick from Mount Pearl might be headed home. But it wasn’t long before a deal was swung to send him back to C.B.N. for a fourth round draft pick.
In an interview with The C.B.N. Compass earlier this fall, Ryan made it clear that in this stage in his career he’s more interested in, “hunting for a Herder instead of being part of a rebuilding effort in Mount Pearl.”
In Welcher, the CeeBees get a forward who averaged nearly a point-per-game with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts for the last three seasons before ending up in Mount Pearl as part of a pre-season trade to send Andrew Pearcey’s rights to central Newfoundland.
“Wes is a great, young player and brings a winning resume,” CeeBees’ coach Ian Moores told The Compass. “Our executive discussed some of our needs, and one of our needs was at the centre position. We feel that Wes is as good a forward as you can get, imports or not.”
As for imports, Moores says the CeeBees are approaching their lineup needs, “on a weekend-to-weekend basis.”
What that means is that former NHLer and pro hockey journeyman David Ling won’t be in Harbour Grace this weekend for a two-game Herder rematch with the Caribous (4-0-2, 10 pts). Instead, the CeeBees (1-5-0, 2 pts) will use their two cards on defenceman Nick Theriault and goaltender Joey Perricone, who was rocked for a combined 14 goals in his first weekend of play.
Game times at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium are 7:30 Saturday night and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Elsewhere in NLSHL action this weekend, the Royals (3-2-1, 7pts) and the Gander Flyers (1-4-1, 3 pts) open a home-and-home series 8:30 tonight at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in Deer Lake. Game 2 goes 7:30 Saturday evening at the Gander Community Centre.
The undefeated Cataracts (6-0-0, 12 pts) welcome the Blades to the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium for games 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
— With files from Nick Mercer, C.B.N. Compass
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