Teepees minor gearing up
Registration same as last year; coaches still needed, says spokesman
Hockey at the Whitbourne Stadium this winter will feature just as many kids as it did last year.
“ The numbers are pretty good,” said Trinity-Placentia minor hockey spokesman Eric Clarke. “ They are almost the same as last year.”
The association held it’s registration last week, and is set to welcome almost 200 young athletes back into the TeePee fold.
Clarke said numbers are not exactly where they were at the same time last year, but there are stragglers every year.
“ There are always a couple of children who sign up the first week,” he stated.
The Whitbourne system will have teams in each age group, from novice to midget.
Clarke said the association anticipates a strong group of on-ice officials this season, noting that several referees who had left the
Diamond also feels the new additions to the team will be a “ big adjustment” for the 28-year-old netminder.
“ It is a totally different team,” he said. “ The team looks competitive.”
Every team in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League is pretty much even, said Diamond.
“I think it’s going to be pretty exciting.” Roach still in limbo Meanwhile, the possibility of moving on without key defenceman Brandon Roach is still hanging over the CeeBees, with Hunt saying “the whole situation is a fiasco,” and Roach is being “theatrical.”
“He told us he is not interested in playing with us this year, only Clarenville,” said the CeeBees general manager.
Hunt maintains the team retains all intentions of keeping the talented Bay Roberts native in the fold, but so far that has not happened.
The Clarenville Caribous are requesting Roach’s services, but talks are still ongoing with hopes something can be worked to the benefit of both clubs.
“ We don’t want to hold him back, but we have no desire in playing against him,” said Hunt. “But, I’m sure something will happen, when and how I don’t know.”
If something cannot be worked out, Roach could miss the first couple of games in the new league, said Hunt.
Hunt is unsure of the motivations behind Roach’s decision to seek ice time elsewhere, but he believes “the Allan Cup experience was a huge factor.”
Roach was among a handful of CeeBees players who suited up with the Caribous during the team’s successful march to the Allan Cup championship last spring. The cup is symbolic of senior hockey supremacy in Canada.
“Good for him and the Caribous, bad for the CeeBees,” said Hunt.
The CeeBees brass feel Roach is “ the best in the province,” and have expressed their concerns of losing a player of Roach’s calibre to the Caribous.
Roach’s situation is different from two of the other players on the CeeBees’ tentative roster — Donnie Gosse and Mark Tobin.
The two coveted players have still not received their release from the Corner Brook Royals, and until then “they’re not ours,” said Hunt.
“ The difference in Donnie (Gosse) and Mark (Tobin) is that they live on the East Coast and are looking for a game on the East Coast,” he said. “For a local boy from the bay to want to move on to a team outside the bay, when we are 15 minutes from were he lives, we have a problem with that.”
Attempts to contact Roach were unsuccessful. Signings In other developments, the team’s blue-line has been a focus of CeeBees’ assistant general manager Peter George this off-season, and the recent acquisition of Dan Curran is no different.
Curran played for the Deer Lake Red Wings last season, and is a veteran of the provincial senior circuit, having spent the three previous seasons with the now-defunct Southern Shore Breakers.
“(Curran) is very effective in the corners and always makes the opposing forwards pay the price,” said George.
Curran is not expected to bring a big offensive punch. He only registered five points in 21 games for the Red Wings last season.
Getting a “ young kid to develop” was some of the reasoning behind the signing of 21-year-old pivot Kenny Mahoney, added George.
George sees Mahoney as a player who will be in and out of games as he adjusts to the speed of the senior game. George called Mahoney a “ natural leader.”
The playmaking five-foot-ten St. John’s centreman has spent the last four years playing for the Yarmouth Mariners of the Maritime Junior Hockey League in Nova Scotia, captaining the team in his last season.
Mahoney led the Mariners in scoring last season with 24 goals and 35 assists for 59 points in 56 games played.
A new hockey season is about to get underway in Whitbourne, where TeePees minor is expected to ice teams from novice to midget. In this file photo, members of the TeePees midget team line up for a faceoff against the United Towns Piratees during Easter tournament action this past spring.