CeeBees come together
Players adapting to new linemates
After four games of Avalon East Senior Hockey League action, the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars appeared to be getting used to playing with new linemates, according to a coach with the team.
“ They’re finally starting to gel now at this point,” CeeBees assistant coach Eddie Bartlett stated last week. “It’s hard at the start of the year with a lot of new faces.”
Many of those players were frontandcentre in the CeeBees’ 3-0 shutout win against the Northeast Eagles on Nov. 6. It was the team’s second home game of the season, and another opportunity for fans to evaluate the play of newcomers like Ray Dalton, Scott Brophy and Brandon Roach.
“ People played with different teams last year and are now coming together,” said Bartlett. “It seems the past couple of games ... the combinations are starting to go and get more comfortable.”
The CeeBees controlled the majority of play in defeating the team from Torbay, firing 38 shots at goalie Adam O’Brien.
“Adam O’Brien is a very good goalie. He’s a big kid, and he had workhorse numbers tonight. But when the game came down to it, we came up big, scored our goals, and had our chances, too.”
Ray Dalton, Shane Gamberg, and Matthew Thomey each scored a goal for the CeeBees, and goalie Freddie Diamond stopped 25 shots.
“ He was ready,” Bartlett said of Diamond. “ He had a point to prove here tonight, and every time they tested him, he was there to answer the bell, especially on the penalty kills.”
Bartlett said the game was tighter in part because of the number of penalties called throughout the game. The CeeBees were called for 11 minor penalties and one major for checking from behind assessed to Gamberg, who was ejected from the game. The Eagles received 10 minors.
“ They really came and worked us hard, and we took an approach that we had to hit and be physical, and they did the same thing.”
The result was a tighter game than the one played the night before in Torbay, which the CeeBees won 84.
Chris Bartlett collected a goal and two assists; Paul Brown, Ray Dalton, and Matthew Thomey each chipped in with a goal and a helper; and Ryan Delaney, Chad Fisher, and Steven Greeley all tallied goals. Mike Dyke and Chris Sparkes both had a pair of assists.
Steve Browne, Danny Connolly, Chris Ennis, and Chris Mooney replied for the Eagles.
The CeeBees players and coaches appeared to dispute the major penalty assessed to Gamberg in the Saturday night game, with complaints made audible to the opposite end of the stadium. Gamberg will have to serve a one-game suspension.
“Anytime the ref doesn’t see a play, it’s a tough call to make. It’s really up to the linesmen. They’re there to do their job. If the linesmen thought it was a penalty, then it was a penalty. It was hard to call from my vantage point from the bench, because it was on the same side (of the rink) as us.”
With the score 2-0 in the third period at the time of the five-minute major penalty, a successful penalty kill was crucial for the CeeBees, and Bartlett singled-out the play of newcomer Brophy.
“Scott Brophy was a great penalty kil ler and working hard,” says Bartlett. “At the end of the game when we needed players to step-up and kill penalties, every single player on our bench killed some portion of that penalty, and that was the difference.”
CeeBees captain Thomey was also an essential contributor on the kill, displaying his sound two-way play by forechecking hard in the Eagles’ defensive zone. He was rewarded later in the period by scoring the goal to ice the victory. It was his fourth goal of the year to tie for the team lead with Dalton.
The CeeBees had a different look behind the bench last weekend, with head coach Ian Moores serving the second of a two-game suspension. The automatic suspension came after CeeBees forward Mike Druken was caught leaving the player’s bench to start a fight with Mount Pearl Blades star Terry Ryan in a game at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium on Oct. 30.
Druken received a three-game suspension, meaning he would once again be out of the line-up for the CeeBees’ scheduled game for Nov. 13 on Bell Island against the Wave.