If the result of their first game of the season is any indication, it might take more than a scraper to get rid of rust accumulated by the Clarenville Ford Caribous this off-season.
A sand-blaster might be required for the defending Herder Memorial Trophy provincial senior hockey champs, who were shellacked 8-1 by the Conception Bay Blues Saturday night at the C.B.S. Arena.
It was more than the Caribous’ first game of the season. It was also their first outing as a member of the East Coast Senior Hockey League. Clarenville had won the 2018 Herder championship as a member of the Central-West Senior Hockey League, but officially joined the ECSHL as the result of an off-season shuffle in Newfoundland senior hockey.
The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and Gander Flyers, who were the other members of the Central-West circuit last season, will also play interlocking games against the East Coast squads and will compete with the five ECSHL teams for the Herder. However, much of the Cataracts and Flyers’ schedule will feature matchups against each other. For example, five of Grand Falls-Windsor’s 10 pre-Christmas will be versus the Flyers, beginning with the season-opener for both teams next Saturday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium.
On Saturday in C.B.S., the Blues won for the third time in as many games this season, getting two goals from both Drake Dower and Ryan Power and single tallies from Brandon Street, Lucas Lush, Cody Batten and Tyler Adams.
Mason Reid had the lone marker for Clarenville.
It was one of three ECSHL contests on the weekend, including Friday’s game at Twin Rinks, where the defending ECSHL champs St. John’s Green Sleeves Caps, playing their first game of the 2018-19 season, edged the visiting Northeast Eagles 3-2.
Matt Fewer, Mark Rideout and Scott Bragg scored for the Caps, while Liam Myers and Matt Walsh replied for the Eagles.
The other weekend game was a Sunday-night matchup between St. John's and Southern Shore Puglisevich Breakers in Mobile, with the Breakers romping to a 10-2 home-ice win in what wasz a rematch of last year's league final.
Scoring details were unavailable.