Cee­bees gear­ing up

Har­bour Grace-based club to be­gin se­nior hockey league sea­son in Gan­der

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NICHOLASMERCER THE COM­PASS

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.

For­wards

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.

Goal­tend­ing

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.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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