But with a newer, younger squad staring back at him from the players’ bench, Stars coach Rod Noseworthy isn’t about to go making any predictions of a repeat performance this season.
“We’ll have our hands full … really full,” said Noseworthy.
Only 10 players are back from last year’s squad that won the league championship with a Game 7 win over Avalon Roebothan, McKay, Marshall Capitals.
Gone are three overage defenceman, leaving a trio of returning rearguards. Up front, only four forwards who skated in the playoffs last season are back, along with goaltender Mitchell Dobbin.
Gone is last year’s playoff MVP, goalie Riley Akerman who is suiting up for the Gloucester Rangers in the Central Canada junior A loop.
“But we’ve got a great group here,” Noseworthy said. “They come to play, and they want to win.
“They’re not lazy by any stretch. And that’s contagious in the room.”
Noseworthy picked up a bunch players coming up through the C.B.N. minor system, and also a pair of Halifax natives — Steve Moore and Alex Higdon — in the draft. Both are attending school in St. John’s.
Moore had a goal and an assist Friday as the Stars beat the Capitals 5-4 at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.
Ryan Dawson, Brady Barrett, Devon Whelan and Michael Mason also scored. Andrew Paul, Ben Cleary, Matthew Caines and Jared Lush had the Avalon goals.
Saturday night at Twin Rinks, Moore scored again and Dobbin stopped 32 shots as C.B.N. blanked the St. John’s Caps 2-0. Mason had the other Stars goal.
Elsewhere in the junior league over the weekend, Liam Hynes had two goals and two assists, while Matthew Templeman had a pair of goals and an assist as the Southern Shore C&W Offshore Breakers thumped the Northeast Eagles (formerly Celtics) 9-0. At the Southern Shore Arena, Justin David had two goals and an assist and Peter Kavanagh had three helpers. Kieran O’Driscoll and Blake Dalton both had two goals … Cody Abbott had a goal and two assists as the CBR Assante Wealth Management Renegades doubled Trinity-Placentia I.J. Smith and Son Flyers 6-3 at the C.B.S. Arena … Aaron Small kicked out 34 of 35 shots and Harry Noftle had two and two as the Capitals spanked the Mount Pearl Mark’s Blades 7-1 at the Goulds Arena. Cleary had a goal and two helpers … At The Glacier Sunday night, the Renegades rallied with three unanswered goals to pull out a 6-5 overtime win over the Blades … At the Jack Byrne Arena, the Flyers got past the Eagles 5-2 Sunday …