CeeBees lose ri­vals

South­ern Shore team folds; thins com­pe­ti­tion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY ANDREWROBINSON

Con­cep­tion Bay CeeBee Stars coach Ian Moores says the loss of the South­ern Shore Break­ers will be felt by fans that have en­joyed an in­tense ri­valry be­tween the two teams over the last few years, but he be­lieves the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League (AESHL) will re­main com­pet­i­tive.

League pres­i­dent Kevin Dicks con­firmed last week in a post made to the league’s web­site that the Break­ers would not be play­ing this sea­son. Team spokesper­son Ken Carter told New­found­land sports web­site The SportsPage that only eight play­ers were on hand for a “com­mit­ment skate” on Oct. 10, which led to the Break­ers ex­ec­u­tive’s de­ci­sion to with­draw from the league.

“I think it’s ter­ri­ble news for a num­ber of rea­sons,” says Moores, who is also the league’s trea­surer. Aside from the fact the team has been com­pet­ing for the Herder Me­mo­rial Cup for decades, he says the Break­ers are the CeeBee’s biggest ri­vals. The CeeBees and Break­ers were Avalon East fi­nal­ists for the last two years, with the CeeBees need­ing seven games each time to knock off their wor­thy op­po­nents.

“It’s just not go­ing to be the same. There’s no doubt about it,” says Moores, who did not fore­see the Break­ers’ exit from the league. “I think it hurts the league over­all, but it’s go­ing to hurt our team and our fans the most, just be­cause the ri­valry is so big now.”

The loss of the Break­ers from the league puts into doubt the com­pet­i­tive bal­ance amongst the four re­main­ing teams. In the 2009-10 sea­son, the CeeBees and Break­ers were the only teams with win­ning records. They were also

An ex­hi­bi­tion hockey game be­tween the Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBees se­nior team and a group of re­tired NHLers in Har­bour Grace on Oct. 11 was a lit­tle more in­tense than ex­pected, with the tal­ent-laden CeeBees show­ing no mercy on their ag­ing op­po­nents.

The CeeBees and the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens Alumni played be­fore a packed house of nearly 1,400 fans at the S. W. Moores Sta­dium. The Alumni ros­ter in­cluded for­mer Habs’ stand­outs Stephane Richer, Claude Lemieux and Chris Ni­lan.

It was Game 1 of a three-game ex­hi­bi­tion, with games Oct. 12 in Tor­bay and Oct. 13 in Mount Pearl.

The CeeBees — a team in­tent on re­turn­ing to the top of New­found­land hockey supremacy this sea­son — was fir­ing on all cylin­ders in what was sup­posed to be a show­case for some of the game’s big names from the past.

The CeeBees put it to their older and short-handed op­po­nents, with the score­sheet putting the end re­sult at 9-3 for the home side.

Speak­ing with Transcontinental Me­dia later in the week, Richer and Lemieux said the CeeBees took the game a lit­tle too se­ri­ously.

“ They are a good young team, and they are proud,” Lemieux said of the de­fend­ing Avalon East champs. “ We were 12 guys to their 24 ... rather short-benched, but they were fly­ing and gave it to us pretty good.”

Added Richer: “ They wanted to beat us so bad. That wasn’t fun.”

Ac­cord­ing to the score­sheet, how­ever, the Alumni out­shot the CeeBees 45-30

At one point near the end of the sec­ond pe­riod, Richer halted the game and in­vited novice play­ers from the CeeBees mi­nor hockey as­so­ci­a­tion to join the Alumni on the ice for a scrim­mage. It was one of the only light mo­ments of the evening.

The for­mer Habs said the pace of the games played in Tor­bay and Mount Pearl later in the week was more in keep­ing with the spirit of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“(The Mount Pearl Blades) un­der­stand it’s a show and they re­spect that. Peo­ple want to see us score goals and make a few plays,” Richer said, adding that he thought the Blades could have eas­ily beaten the alumni by 10 goals or more if they wanted.

CeeBees coach Ian Moores said the team was not aware of how it was sup­posed to treat the match prior to the puck drop­ping in the first pe­riod.

“Be­fore the game, we were just in the room hav­ing some fun, hav­ing a chat, and there was no game plan. It was just to go out and have some fun. It just ended up be­ing we scored a lot more goals than they did, and con­tin­ued to skate hard into the third pe­riod.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate we didn’t have a chat with man­age­ment for the (Cana­di­ens) be­fore the game. If we had known it was only sup­posed to be a one-goal game, or that they were sup­posed to beat us, then we would’ve cer­tainly hon­oured that, but we had no idea go­ing into the game what to ex­pect or how we were sup­posed to play.”

Moores said in the first pe­riod the Cana­di­ens alumni ap­peared to be try­ing their best, adding that the CeeBees were aware of their op­po­nent’s short bench and of­fered them a full line of play­ers to com­ple­ment the Cana­di­ens’ ros­ter.

“ Hope­fully, they’re not too up­set with us, and hope­fully one day they’ll come back again,” he said.

CeeBees’ cap­tain Chris Thomey led all scor­ers with a hat trick; Bran­don Roach, Chris Sparkes, Keith De­laney, Sean Wad­den, Tommy Snow and Matthew French net­ted sin­gles; and Chris Cros­bie and Paul Brown each picked up two helpers.

Jocelyn Lemieux, Claude Lemieux and Chris Ni­lan scored for the Alumni.

Mean­while, arena man­ager Lorne Tucker said it was a suc­cess­ful night at the gate, with only a hand­ful of tick­ets left un­sold.

Photo by An­drew Robin­son/The Com­pass Con­cep­tion Bay CeeBee Stars coach Ian Moores is dis­ap­pointed the South­ern Shore Break­ers will not be play­ing this sea­son in the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League. But Moores still ex­pects the 2010-11 sea­son to be a com­pet­i­tive one for the CeeBees.

Claude Lemieux waits to en­ter the ice at the S. W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace on Oct. 11.

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