No more for Moores?
CeeBees coach ponders future after team’s brutal showing in Herder
The G rand Fal l s - Windsor Cataracts’ four-game sweep of the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars in the 2011 Telegram Herder Memorial Championship series left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of CeeBee supporters.
Head coach Ian Moores didn’t like the taste of it either, so much so that he’s questioning whether he’ll continue on with the team next season.
“I’m going to re-evaluate my own personal position in terms of the team and the monumental effort there is in trying to make this thing work,” he said.
“ The wounds are still fresh. It’s frustration at this point, and maybe as the summer wears on, I’ll have a different tune. But I just have a very bad taste left in my mouth after the way we lost — just a complete collapse.”
After Games 1 and 2 at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, the thought of the CeeBees winning some games in Grand Falls-Windsor did not seem unfathomable. Both games were onegoal decisions, and the CeeBee Stars looked much better in Game 2 against the speedy Cataracts.
But the move to Grand FallsWindsor for Games 3 and 4 on April 1-2 proved to be no help for the CeeBees. The Cataracts embarrassed them in Game 3, sending CeeBees goalie Freddy Diamond to the bench in the second period after beating him five times in an eventual 8-2 thrashing.
The CeeBee Stars were unable to rebound in Game 4, with Cataracts goalie Mark Yetman earning a shutout in a 4-0 victory to finish the series and give Grand Falls-Windsor its first Herder title since 1982.
“ To say I’m disappointed is an understatement,” said Moores, who had never been part of a Herder team swept in the final either as a player or coach. “ It’s a tough pill to swallow when your team completely (soiled) the bed.”
In his view, the team did not show up to play. Moores gives full credit to the Cataracts, who played a strong team-game and were well coach by former professional hockey player Brian Casey, but he said the CeeBees played nowhere near its own poten- tial.
While the coach said his players did not give an honest effort, CeeBees captain Matthew Thomey was reluctant to say the same thing.
“ We’ve got a really good group of character guys with a lot of skill, and we wanted to (win), but their defence just shut us down. They pinched a lot, and at times our forwards would get the puck and look up ice, and there was a green jersey on you almost right away. It was hard to get the kind of space we would have liked to have. The effort was definitely there — we just got shut down.”
In particular, Thomey said the CeeBee Stars had trouble handling the Cataracts’ transition game, which relied on good puck movement from the defence to forwards.
“ We hadn’t really seen a team like that all year, and I guess we didn’t really have enough time to adjust our game to try and shut that down.”
The quick series may have been even more devastating for CeeBee supporters considering how great the team played in the Avalon East final against the Mount Pearl Blades. Down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, the CeeBee Stars turned their fortunes around with a spirited effort in each of the next four games, going on to win the series in six.
In its last three Herder finals, the CeeBees have only managed two wins in 14 games versus opponents from the west coast league.
“ There definitely is a gap,” said Thomey, comparing the quality of regular season play in the two leagues. “I think if our team is playing against a team like Grand Falls-Windsor more often throughout the year, I don’t think the Herder would be as lopsided as it is.”
There has been talk in the past of forming a single senior hockey league, and Thomey said he would be open to that arrangement, though he is unsure what would be required in order for it to be feasible.
“I think it would be good for both leagues to have a province-wide (setup).”
Moores noted this is the first season the CeeBee Stars have dressed a team of paid players, though he said the team’s budget is half of what any west coast team would operate under.
“A lot of that money comes from fundraising and sponsorship money. It’s a very difficult task and a demanding job for the team and the organization. It’s not easy.”
As for who will skate with the team in 2011-12, Moores said he expects there will be many roster changes over the summer, whether or not he remains involved with the team.
Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars coach Ian Moores said his team did not give an honest effort in Games 3 and 4 of the Telegram Herder Memorial Championship series. His displeasure over being swept by the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts has left him pondering whether or not to return behind the bench in 2011-12.