Bro­phy hopes to con­tinue his strong play as CeeBees chase an­other Herder

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY ANDREW ROBIN­SON

Af­ter Game 2 of the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League fi­nal, things were look­ing grim for the Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­Bee Stars.

The team was down two games to the Mount Pearl Blades, leav­ing Cee­Bee Stars fans to won­der whether a sev­enth-straight trip to the Herder fi­nal was even pos­si­ble.

There are a num­ber of fac­tors that con­trib­uted to the even­tual 42 se­ries win for the CeeBees, but per­haps the most im­por­tant one stems from a se­ries of line changes that even­tu­ally led to Scott Bro­phy cen­tring vet­eran wingers Chris Bartlett and Chris Cros­bie.

As­signed the tough task of shut­ting down the Blades’ top line of Mark Chap­lin, Grant Kenny and Andrew Pearcey, the Cee­Bee trio proved more than up to the task. For the rest of the se­ries, those Blades play­ers were un­able to put up even-strength points, and with those play­ers neu­tral­ized, Con­cep­tion Bay North was well on its way to the Herder fi­nal. They also chipped in of­fen­sively, with Bartlett and Bro­phy pro­vid­ing the game-win­ning goals in Games 3 and 4, re­spec­tively.

It’s a first-time trip to the Herder for Bro­phy, who was also third in play­off scor­ing for the Avalon league with 14 points in 11 games. The pride of Mo­bile is play­ing his first year of se­nior hockey af­ter a com­bined seven sea­sons play­ing in the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League (QMJHL) and at St. Mary’s Univer­sity.

“ You try to draw on other biggame ex­pe­ri­ences, but this is my first Herder, so I’m ask­ing ques­tions to some of the more ex­pe­ri­enced guys who’ve been there be­fore, like the Bartletts and Cros­bies.”

Af­ter al­most five months play­ing the same three teams in the Avalon league, Bro­phy and the CeeBees are in for a whole new ex­pe­ri­ence against a Grand Falls-Wind­sor Cataracts team they haven’t faced all year.

“It’s re­ally odd,” says Bro­phy, who is at least fa­mil­iar with Cataracts for­ward Wes Welcher from their days to­gether with the St. John’s Fog Devils. “For the most part, a lot of us through­out mi­nor hockey have played against them or with them, one way or an­other.”

Bro­phy ex­pects his line with the two Chrises will once again be counted on to keep the Cataract’s top play­ers off the score­sheet. Ahead of Games 1 and 2, it was an­tic­i­pated they could face any com­bi­na­tion of top for­wards Chad Earle and Welcher joined by Matt Quinn, Tyler White­head, Bran­don Ni­cholas, or Dave Philpott. It was un­cer­tain whether winger Andrew Bren­nan, who usu­ally plays on the top line with Earle and Welcher, would dress for the Cataracts. He was ru­moured to be nurs­ing a torn leg mus­cle.

“From what I’ve heard, they have a pretty bal­anced at­tack with three solid lines that can hurt you.”

No mat­ter the re­sults of Games 1 and 2, ei­ther team will still have a chance to take the se­ries, as the Cee­Bee Stars showed in its last se­ries af­ter fall­ing be­hind 2-0.

“Mind you, I wouldn’t want to be put in that po­si­tion again,” laughs Bro­phy.

If his line con­tin­ues to play like it did in the fi­nal four games of the Mount Pearl se­ries, the Cataracts will be in for some tough shifts. Some ob­servers may have been sur­prised the Blades did not shake-up its top-line to give more bal­ance to its of­fence, but Bro­phy says Chap­lin, Kenny and Pearcey all had their mo­ments.

“ We did a de­cent job shut­ting them down, but at the same time, they had their chances too, and ( goalie) Freddy (Di­a­mond) was there. It wasn’t like they were out there do­ing ab­so­lutely noth­ing.”

The road to the CeeBees was more-or-less put in place in 2006 once Bro­phy com­pleted his lone cam­paign with the Fog Devils as an over­age ju­nior player. There was in­ter­est from teams in the East Coast Hockey League, but Bro­phy was keen not to lose the schol­ar­ship money at­tached to his QMJHL years. Were he to turn pro, that money would have dis­ap­peared.

“I was pretty much sat­is­fied as far as try­ing to make a hockey ca­reer out of it goes,” says Bro­phy. “I knew when I got to univer­sity I was go­ing to try and come home and get set­tled.”

Bro­phy ma­jored in fi­nance at St. Mary’s and now works as a pol­icy an­a­lyst with the Depart­ment of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices. He is pleased with where his ed­u­ca­tion has taken him, though he in­tends to one day ob­tain a Mas­ters of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

As for the hockey, he’s more than happy with how that has worked out.

“It’s funny, be­cause a lot of the guys that I’m play­ing with, I’ve played with grow­ing up or against. In a lot of cases, they’re the guys from Har­bour Grace ( like Matthew Thomey, Daniel Sparkes, and Tom Snow). To get home and be in the same at­mos­phere and dress­ing room as these guys, it’s been a re­ally fun year. We’ve got a re­ally close group in there, which makes com­ing to the rink fun.”

Photo by Andrew Robin­son/The Com­pass

Cee­Bee Stars cen­tre­man Scott Bro­phy will play an im­por­tant check­ing role against the Grand Falls-Wind­sor Cataracts’ top of­fen­sive threats dur­ing the 2011 Herder Me­mo­rial Cham­pi­onship se­ries. The se­ries re­sumes in Grand Falls-Wind­sor this Fri­day.

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