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Cataracts mastery of senior hockey continues

Rod Bennett/Action Sports Shots — The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts won the 2019 Herder Memorial Trophy championship Sunday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Southern Shore Breakers. On hand for the presentation of the Herder were, from left, Mike Gorman (son of Cliff Gorman, for whom the Herder playoff MVP award is named), Rodi Short, Andre Gill, provincial senior hockey chairman Gary Gale, Cataracts captain and Cliff Gorman Award winner Michael Brent, Sam Hounsell and Joe Maynard, the Eastern Arena director for senior hockey.
Rod Bennett/Action Sports Shots — The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts won the 2019 Herder Memorial Trophy championship Sunday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Southern Shore Breakers. On hand for the presentation of the Herder were, from left, Mike Gorman (son of Cliff Gorman, for whom the Herder playoff MVP award is named), Rodi Short, Andre Gill, provincial senior hockey chairman Gary Gale, Cataracts captain and Cliff Gorman Award winner Michael Brent, Sam Hounsell and Joe Maynard, the Eastern Arena director for senior hockey. - Contributed

Grand Falls-Windsor wins fourth Herder in six years; player-coach Yetman cherishes first Herder following near-devastating wrist injury suffered in pro hockey

He played three seasons of major junior hockey (he’s one of the few Newfoundlanders to register a 100-point season in the Quebec junior circuit), followed by a couple years split between the American Hockey League and ECHL before a lengthy nine-year run in the European pro leagues.

And yet, when it’s all said and done, one of the highlights of Patrick Yetman’s hockey career will be the Herder Memorial Trophy championship he won with the 2018-19 Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.

“To win a Herder is very special,” said the Cataracts’ playing-coach Sunday, after his team disposed of the Southern Shore Breakers 3-2 in overtime to win the province’s senior hockey championship. “To have my family see me play was special.

“I grew up watching the Herder. To be part of it now is really exciting.”

The Cataracts were a pedestrian 10-7 on the year, but went on an 8-3 run in the post-season, beating the Gander Flyers in six games in the Central Division final, before putting the Breakers away in a five-game Herder final.

Yetman took over the Cataracts’ coaching reigns in 2017, but suited up for his first taste of senior hockey as a player just before Christmas this season.

It was his first real meaningful hockey played since Dec. 1, 2012, the night he injured his wrist and ended his pro career.

It happened while he toiled for Orebro of the Swedish league. The injury would lead to an infection in the wrist, and it would be years before he came close to getting full function of the damaged area.

“It’s at least to a point now where I can play,” Yetman said. “When I started coaching last year, I kind of got the itch (to play), but I knew the wrist had to be stronger.

“When I got back to playing this season, it was six years and one week after the injury, and it felt great to be out there again. Hockey was my life, and being on the ice as a player, being in the room, the adrenaline you got from playing was a void I couldn’t fill.

“So to play again, and close out on my own terms, with a championship … you can’t really ask for anything better than that.”

At Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor Sunday, the Cataracts won it on Alex Dalley’s goal at 8:43 of overtime.

The Breakers’ Kris Hodge and Yetman traded first-period goals. Following a scoreless second period, Jeremy Nicholas put the visitors ahead with a goal 2:26 into the third period.

It stood 2-1 for the most of the final period of play, until Grand Falls-Windsor pulled netminder A.J. Whiffen for the extra attacker.

The plan worked as the homestanding squad scored the equalizer, when team captain Michael Brent, the Cliff Gorman Memorial Award winner as the Herder MVP, scored with 46 seconds left in regulation time.

That set the stage for Dalley’s heroics in the extra session.

Once again, both goalies played very well, with Whiffen stopping 32 of 34 shots and Mark Yetman making 30 saves for the Breakers.

It was the fourth Herder in the past six years for Grand Falls-Windsor, and 15th overall.

For Whiffen, it was his fifth Herder in the past six years, after winning with the Cataracts from 2014-16 and C.B.N. CeeBee Stars in 2017.

robin.short@thetelegram.com

2018-19 provincial senior hockey award winners

Cliff Gorman Memorial Award (Herder Memorial Trophy series MVP) — Michael Brent (Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts)

Albert “PeeWee” Crane Memorial Award (rookie of the year) — Kris Hodge (Conception Bay Blues)

S.E. Tuma Memorial Trophy (top scorer) — Kevin Reid (Clarenville Caribous)

T.A. “Gus” Soper Memorial Award (regular season MVP) — Jordan Escott (Gander Flyers)

President’s Award (goalie with best goals against average) — A.J. Whiffen (Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts)
Howie Clouter Memorial Award (most gentlemanly and effective player) — Danny Wicks (Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts)

The Telegram Trophy (first place team in the regular season) — Gander Flyers

HERDER WINNERS

The Herder Memorial Trophy is emblematic of provincial senior hockey supremacy. Here are the Herder winners over the past years:

1935 - Corner Brook Royals

1936 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1937 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1938 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1939 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1940 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1941 - Bell Island

1942 - No competition

1943 - No competition

1944 - Bell Island

1945 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1946 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1947 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1948 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1949 - St. John’s, St. Bon’s

1950 - Buchans Miners

1951 - Buchans Miners

1952 - Buchans Miners

1953 - Grand Falls

1954 - Buchans Miners

1955 - Grand Falls Andcos

1956 - Grand Falls Andcos

1957 - Grand Falls Andcos

1958 - Grand Falls Andcos

1959 - Grand Falls Andcos

1960 - Conception Bay CeeBees

1961 - Conception Bay CeeBees

1962 - Corner Brook Royals

1963 - Buchans Miners

1964 - Corner Brook Royals

1965 - Conception Bay CeeBees

1966 - Corner Brook Royals

1967 - Conception Bay CeeBees

1968 - Corner Brook Royals

1969 - Gander Flyers

1970 - St. John’s Capitals

1971 - Grand Falls Cataracts

1972 - Grand Falls Cataracts

1973 - St. John’s Capitals

1974 - St. John’s Capitals

1975 - St. John’s Capitals

1976 - St. John’s Capitals

1977 - Corner Brook Royals

1978 - St. John’s Blue Caps

1979 - St. John’s Mike’s Shamrocks

1980 - Gander Flyers

1981 - Grand Falls Cataracts

1982 - Grand Falls Cataracts

1983 - Stephenville Jets

1984 - Stephenville Jets

1985 - Corner Brook Royals

1986 - Corner Brook Royals (Allan Cup champions)

1987 - St. John’s Capitals

1988 - Corner Brook Royals

1989 - Port aux Basques Mariners (Hardy Trophy champions)

1990 - St. John’s Capitals

1991 - No competition

1992 - Badger Bombers

1993 - Flatrock Flyers

1994 - La Scie Jets

1995 - Southern Shore Breakers

1996 - Southern Shore Breakers

1997 - Flatrock Flyers

1998 - Flatrock Flyers

1999 - Southern Shore Breakers

2000 - Southern Shore Breakers

2001 - Deer Lake Red Wings

2002 - Corner Brook Royals

2003 - Flatrock Flyers

2004 - Southern Shore Breakers

2005 - Deer Lake Red Wings

2006 - C.B.N. CeeBee Stars

2007 - C.B.N. CeeBee Stars

2008 - C.B.N. CeeBee Stars

2009 - Clarenville Caribous

2010 - Clarenville Caribous (Allan Cup champions in 2011)

2011 - Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts

2012 - Clarenville Caribous

2013 - C.B.N. CeeBee Stars

2014 - Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts

2015 - Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts

2016 – Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts (Allan Cup champions in 2017)

2017 – C.B.N. CeeBee Stars

2018 – Clarenville Caribous

2019 – Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts

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