CeeBees mas­ters of their fate

Re­ly­ing on veteran pres­ence to push them into play­offs

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Ed­i­tor’s note: re­sults from a Feb. 17 home game against the Mount Pearl Blades and a Feb. 18 con­test against the Corner Brook Roy­als were not avail­able prior to dead­line

The Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­Bee Stars are con­fi­dent that when the dust set­tles on the New­found­land Se­nior Hockey League reg­u­lar sea­son, they will be one of the teams left stand­ing in the play­offs.

Ceebees’ as­sis­tant coach Peter Ge­orge is “fully con­fi­dent” in his team’s abil­ity to close the dis­tance and over­take the teams in front of them.

Head­ing into the last week­end of the sea­son, with two games against the Corner Brook Roy­als, Ge­orge said the games are “go­ing to be a dog fight for sure,” and he is “fully con­fi­dent” in his team’s abil­ity to make the play­offs.

“We can give teams some trou­ble once we get in there,” he said.

Head­ing into the final week of the sea­son, Ge­orge said the Ceebees hold an ad­van­tage over the other two teams they are chas­ing — the Blades and the Roy­als.

“We are in con­trol of our own destiny,” he said. “We only have to worry about win­ning our games.”

Losses by the Blades this week­end would go a long way in en­sur­ing a Ceebees post-sea­son berth.

The Blades’ two games with the Grand Falls-wind­sor Cataracts will draw some at­ten­tion from Cee­bee faithfuls.

With two games this week­end against Corner Brook, the Ceebees will be in tight to make the play­offs.

Not hav­ing to rely on a Mount Pearl or Corner Brook loss is sure to pro­duce an ex­cit­ing at­mos­phere this week­end at the Pepsi Cen­tre in Corner Brook.

The Ceebees have only played one game in Corner Brook this sea­son, a 9- 4 vic­tory for the Roy­als, so it is go­ing to be im­por­tant for the team to for­get about that loss.

Each game will have play­off im­pli­ca­tions, and the Ceebees have their backs against the wall.

“It’s ex­cit­ing for sure,” said Ge­orge. “The team is up for it.”

Veteran pres­ence

For the Ceebees, the play­offs are go­ing to be a win and get in sce­nario.

For a team with a ros­ter lit­tered with play­ers like Matthew Thomey, Keith De­laney, Ryan De­laney, Mike Dyke, Don­nie Gosse and the re­turn­ing Matthew French, it shouldn’t be any­thing they haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore.

Each has been in tough play­off se­ries and Herder fi­nals prior to this sea­son, some­thing the younger, les­s­ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers can lean on.

“When we started the sea­son, we wanted to put guys in place who had a his­tory of win­ning hockey games,” he said. “We have a good mix of old and young guys. Guys who have won at dif­fer­ent lev­els.”

The sit­u­a­tion the team now finds it­self in is ex­actly the sit­u­a­tion where these play­ers are ex­pected to ex­cel.

“These are the play­ers that you love to have on your team, es­pe­cially in these sit­u­a­tions,” said Ge­orge.

He said that when “your back is against the wall,” these are the play­ers you want fight­ing in your corner.

“It is this ex­pe­ri­ence that gets you through these sit­u­a­tions,” said Ge­orge. “Win­ners will step up to the plate and carry you through.”

The Ceebees are on the road on the final week­end of the sea­son, with two games against the Roy­als in Cor- ner Brook. Satur­day night’s tilt kicks off 7: 30 p. m. at the Pepsi Cen­tre, while Sun­day’s match goes 2 p.m.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

Mount Pearl Blades’ for­ward Ja­son Hedges (17) lines up a shot, while his team­mate Ryan Bel­lows wres­tles with Ceebees’ de­fence­man Mike Dyke for po­si­tion in front of goal­tender Doug Jewer in sec­ond pe­riod ac­tion Feb. 11 at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace.

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