Teepees mi­nor gear­ing up

Reg­is­tra­tion same as last year; coaches still needed, says spokesman

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

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.

Coaches wel­come

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.

De­vel­op­ing skill

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.

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