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Caribous, Blues lead in ECSHL opening-round playoff series


Clarenville up 2-0 on CeeBees; Blues take opener against Eagles in OT

The Clarenville Caribous took a two-game series lead, while the Conception Bay Blues are up 1-0 after the East Coast Senior Hockey League opened its first-round elimination-round playoffs over the weekend.

Each of the two opening-round playoff series are best-of-five affairs.

At the Eastlink Events Centre in Clarenville, the homestanding Caribous defeated the Harbour Grace CeeBee Stars twice — 6-2 Saturday and 5-2 Sunday — for a 2-0 series lead.

At Torbay’s Jack Byrne Arena on Friday, the Blues shaded the Northeast Eagles 6-5 in overtime for a 1-0 series lead.

The first-place Southern Shore Breakers, reigning East Coast league champs, and St. John’s Caps finished first and second in the regular season standings and received a first-round playoff bye.

At Jack Byrne Arena Friday, Kris Hodge scored his second goal of the game 3:12 into OT to give the Blues the victory. Michael Ryan with two, Kyle Tibbo and Garrett Murphy had the other Conception Bay goals. Brandon Bussey and Coady Barron each scored twice for Northeast and Justin David potted a single.

In Clarenville Saturday night, Kevin Reid and Justin Pender both had two for the Caribous, and singles came from Chad Earle and Lucas Goobie.

The Caribous won 5-2 Sunday night for a 2-0 lead.

Payoffs resume 8 p.m. Tuesday at the C.B.S. Arena where the Blues play host to the Eagles.

Two games are set for next Friday. At Jack Byrne Arena at 8 p.m., the Blues and Eagles clash, and the CeeBees play host to the Caribous at 8 p.m. at the Danny Cleary Community Centre in Harbour Grace.

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