CeeBees hosting exhibition on Saturday
Perrenial hockey powerhouse looking to regain Herder supremacy
The Conception Bay CeeBees senior hockey team will play host to the Mount Pearl Blades in an exhibition game at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Saturday. Team officials have high hopes for the 2010-11 campaign, and have their sights set on bringing another Herder Memorial Trophy back home to the region.
After losing their second Herder in a row last year, the Conception Bay CeeBee Stars say they are determined not to let that happen again this season.
“No question,” vows CeeBees’ captain Matthew Thomey. “Our goal this year from Day 1 is to bring the Herder back home.”
The Stars will begin tuning up for the upcoming season on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium when they host an exhibition game against the Mount Pearl H. J. Bartlett Electric Blades, a team that has garnered some interest because of some off-season additions.
The underdog CeeBees eliminated the Southern Shore Breakers to take the Avalon East Senior Hockey League title last season and go all the way to the Herder finals for a record sixth straight time.
But in the provincial senior hockey finals, the Clarenville Caribous trampled the CeeBees to take the Herder in five games — taking some of the shine off the Stars’ season. That left “a sour taste in the mouth of many of the Conception Bay CeeBee Stars,” according to the team captain. The outcome of last year’s finals, “ has made the Stars more determined than ever to regain Newfoundland’s top hockey prize.”
Instead of just fine-tuning their line-up in the off-season, the CeeBees have reloaded their roster in an attempt to bring the Herder back to Conception Bay North.
“Rather than looking outside their home region to bring in players, as is the case with many other senior hockey teams,” Thomey says, “ for the most part, the CeeBees have recruited within the Conception Bay area for new players this year. We’ve stocked up on some of the best local talent available in an attempt to put ourselves back among the province’s elite teams.”
Keith and Ryan Delaney of North River head the list of players from C.B.N. who are suiting up for the Stars this season. Joining them on the ice will be Brandon and Cody Roach, Matthew French, Paul Brown, Bronson Dawe and Chris Crosbie, all of Bay Roberts; Matthew Thomey, Daniel Sparkes and Tommy Snow of Harbour Grace; Steven Greeley, Upper Island Cove; Chad Parsons, Shearstown, and Chris Petten, Port de Grave. Former St. John’s Fog Devils’ captain Scott Brophy and Chris Bartlett are other key off-season signings for the CeeBees.
“ Lack of leadership won’t be a problem for the Stars, with no less than three former captains suiting up for the red, white and blue this year,” the captain noted. “ Keith Delaney, Bartlett, and Crosbie have all returned to the CeeBees’ fold after some time away from the team,” he added.
According to Thomey, “this wealth of experience will benefit the team, as you can never have too many guys like these fellas who have played in big games before”. The captain feels the team “will be strong on both sides of the puck and our depth should be one of our biggest assets.”
Fans will see what the team spokesman describes as “a modest increase in ticket prices this season — admission will be $10 for adults and $6 for children. As in past years, fans will be given the opportunity to purchase season tickets.”
CeeBees’ coach Ian Moores explains, “this extra revenue is necessary because if we want to make a serious run for the Herder, we need to put a product on the ice that can compete with the West Coast teams, which have much bigger operating budgets.”
According to the team captain, many fans expect Mount Pearl to challenge C.B.N. for the Avalon East title this season.
“ The Blades have the same goals as us this year and we expect some good battles with them,” Thomey contends.
During the off-season Mount Pearl signed the father and son duo of Randy and Andrew Pearcey, both Herder winners with the Clarenville Caribous last season. The senior Pearcey will take over the coaching reins with the Blades, while Andrew is expected to put up big offensive numbers this season.
Former NHLer Terry Ryan has also returned to his hometown to suit up for Mount Pearl this season, along with Grant Kenny and Jason Hedges.
The CeeBees are tentatively scheduled to kick off the regular season Oct. 23, when they host archrival Southern Shore Breakers on home ice at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.
CeeBee Stars’ captain Matthew Thomey vows, “our goal this year from day one is to bring the Herder back home.”