Ceebees gearing up
Harbour Grace-based club to begin senior hockey league season in Gander
The Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars are set to begin its quest for the Herder Memorial Trophy when the sophomore season of the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League Season kicks off next weekend.
Last season, the CeeBees finished fourth in the five-team league with a record of eight wins, 10 losses and six overtime losses.
The team would then bow out in the semifinals to the Clarenville Caribous, dropping the best-of-seven series, 4-1.
It marked the first time in seven years that the CeeBees had not participated in the Herder final and play for the chance to call themselves the top senior team in the province.
In the offseason, head coach and general manager Corey Crocker set out to remake the franchise.
First, Crocker was able to sign Upper Island Cove native and former Hamilton Bulldog Robert Slaney. Slaney chose to resume his university studies rather than resign with a professional club.
Next up were high profile trades for d-man Doug O’Brien and veteran forward Terry Ryan. The moves saw Doug Jewer, Mark Tobin and Mitch Flynn shipped out of town.
The move for Ryan was later reversed as it came within 30-days of Mount Pearl’s decision to take a one-year leave of absence from the league.
Due to this, Ryan’s name was thrown back into a dispersal draft, and he was snapped up by the Western Royals, and Flynn is now back in the CeeBees fold.
Crocker also secured the services of St. John’s brothers Colin and Jordan Escott in exchange for Sean Wadden and Kenny Pennell.
Here is a look at the rest of the CeeBees roster for the 2012-13 season.
Returning forwards include Keith Delaney, Ryan Delaney, Ray Dalton, Colin Feehan, Stephen Greeley, Daniel Sparkes, Chris Sparkes, Morgan Warren and Jamie Tobin.
Along with Tobin, Pennell and Wadden, the CeeBees lost Kyle Doucet and captain Matthew Thomey when he took a teaching job in Northern Alberta.
Despite the loss, the CeeBees will be returning four of its top-five scorers in the Delaneys, Dalton and Feehan.
The other new face up front will be import Mike Thomas. The 22year-old from New Maryland, NB is the former captain of the Saint John Seadogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and helped lead the team to a Memorial Cup in 2011.
Thomas also has experience in the American Hockey League with the Springfield Falcons and the Grand Rapid Griffins.
Jason Hedges is another new face in the CeeBees locker room. Hedges was picked up in the third round of the dispersal draft and previously played with the Mount Pearl Blades. Defence O’Brien will join the returning Mike Dyke to help anchor the Cee- Bees blue-line this season.
In the Mount Pearl dispersal draft, the club bolstered its backline after taking Mike Lee with the third pick in the first round and Grant Kenny with the same pick in the second round.
Along with Dyke, the club will be returning most of its defence corps in Donnie Gosse, Tim Greene, Jared Touton, Mitch Flynn and Fred Earle.
Gone are Colin Archer, who is returning to Acadia University. The status of veteran CeeBees rearguard Matthew French remains unknown because of work commitments.
Longtime CeeBee tender Freddy Diamond returns to the club.
Replacing Doug Jewer between the pipes will be import Chalres Lavigne, who is expected to assume the No. 1 position.
From Hawkesbury, Ontario, Lavigne comes off a stint with the St. Thomas University Tommies. Previous, the 24-year-old keeper played with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.
The CeeBees also have former CBN Junior Stars goaltender Jason Penney ready for emergencies.