More sign­ings for Cee­bees

Teams bol­ster­ing lineup for new provin­cial league

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

With more fire­power up front and some added strength on the blue­line, the Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­Bee Stars con­tinue to as­sem­ble a team for the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of the new New­found­land Se­nior Hockey League.

“ This will prob­a­bly be the high­est cal­i­bre of hockey our area has ever seen,” said as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager Peter Ge­orge.

Ge­orge an­nounced last week that three more play­ers — Kyle Doucet, Jared Tu­ton and Mitch Flynn (see fact boxes) — had been added to the ros­ter.

Ge­orge was es­pe­cially ex­cited about the ar­rival of Doucet, a slick cen­tre­man from Halifax who helped the St Mary’s Univer­sity Huskies men’s team to a national cham­pi­onship in 2010. Ge­orge pre­dicted Doucet “will be one of the top point­get­ters in the league.”

Doucet and Cee­Bees’ for­ward Scott Bro­phy played to­gether at St. Mary’s, and Bro­phy helped fa­cil­i­tate Doucet’s sign­ing.

“He’s very tal­ented,” Ge­orge said, adding that Doucet and his girl­friend have moved to St. John’s.

Ge­orge de­scribed Tu­ton as a big, stay-at-home de­fence­man who brings tremen­dous lead­er­ship abil­i­ties to the team. Like Doucet, Tu­ton, who is from White­horse, has also moved to St. John’s

“ This guy is a good penalty killer and a shut­down D,” Ge­orge said.

Flynn will also be a fac­tor on the back end, added Ge­orge. The six-foottwo-inch St. John’s na­tive cap­tained the Wood­stock Slam­mers of the Mar­itime Ju­nior A Hockey League last sea­son.

New league

The Cee­Bees will be one of five teams com­pet­ing in the new se­nior league. Other in­clude the Mount Pearl Blades, Clarenville Cari­bous, Grand Falls-Wind­sor Cataracts and the Cor­ner Brook Roy­als.

The sanc­tion­ing of the provincewide league by Hockey New­found­land and Labrador took place in Gan­der ear­lier this month.

Orig­i­nally, the plan was to have a two-league set-up — Cee­Bees, Mount Pearl and Clarenville in the east, and Grand Falls, Cor­ner Brook and Deer Lake in the west — with some in­ter­lock­ing play. But that all changed when Deer Lake an­nounced it would not be ic­ing a team.

“ We had no choice” but to form a prov­ince-wide league, provin­cial se­nior hockey chair­man Bill Nose­wor­thy stated.

Ge­orge said fan sup­port will be crit­i­cal to en­sur­ing the suc­cess of the league.

“ We need more sup­port than ever,” Ge­orge said

Team nu­cleus re­turn­ing

Ge­orge said the team’s nu­cleus from last sea­son will be re­turn­ing, in­clud­ing cap­tain Matthew Thomey, who led the team in scor­ing with 36 points (13 goals) in 22 reg­u­lar sea­son games. Fel­low sniper Ray Dal­ton has re­signed, and so have broth­ers Keith and Ryan De­laney.

Former de­fence­man-of-the-year Mike Dyke is also back, and so is start­ing net­min­der Fred­die Di­a­mond.

Ge­orge said “ lo­cal boys” Steven Gree­ley, Daniel Sparkes and Tommy Snow will also don the Stars’ jersey again this sea­son.

Ge­orge also con­firmed that tal­ented for­ward Mark Tobin may also be back in the Cee­Bees’ lineup this sea­son, af­ter spend­ing a year on the west coast, where he played with the Roy­als and at­tended fire­fight­ing school in Stephenville. Tobin spent half the sea­son with the Cee­Bees in 2010.

“ We’re just wait­ing for him to get his re­lease” from the Roy­als, Ge­orge stated.

Tobin is re­garded as one of the best in the prov­ince, and was drafted 64th over­all by the Tampa Bay Light­ning in the 2004 NHL en­try draft.

One big ques­tion is the sta­tus of Bran­don Roach, one of the prov­ince’s top de­fence­men. Roach is from Bay Roberts and played last sea­son with the Cee­Bees, but ac­knowl­edged when con­tacted last week that he’s been talk­ing to other teams.

“ I’ll def­i­nitely be play­ing se­nior hockey some­where,” Roach stated.

Cee­Bees’ stal­wart and three-time Herder Me­mo­rial Tro­phy win­ner Matthew French is also doubt­ful. French is tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor with Bay Arena mi­nor in Bay Roberts, and re­cently signed on to coach the TriPen Lions of the New­found­land and Labrador Mid­get Hockey League.

Former Cee­Bees’ cap­tain and five­time Herder win­ner Chris Cros­bie also con­firmed last week that he will be re­tir­ing.

At age 38, Cros­bie said he no longer has the legs for the game.

“It’s time for the younger class to take over,” Cros­bie said.

Ge­orge said the team has sched­uled a train­ing camp for Oct. 7-8 at the S. W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace, and he ex­pects the sea­son to be­gin in late Oc­to­ber.

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