League adds sec­ond of­fi­cial

Bay Roberts 19-and-over men’s league be­gins 16th sea­son at Bay Arena

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

With the skill level on the rise in the Bay Roberts 19-and-over recre­ational men’s hockey league, it was de­cided that the two-ref­eree sys­tem would be ex­tended to in­clude the reg­u­lar sea­son as well as the playoffs.

“A lot of teams are find­ing the league is get­ting stronger, and the game is get­ting faster, so they wanted to have two guys on the ice,” said league pres­i­dent Neil Shute.

Some would say that adding a sec­ond of­fi­cial to the game might, in ac­tual fact, slow the game down.

More penal­ties would mean more stop­pages in play. Games are 60 min­utes straight time, and an in­crease in penal­ties could mean a slow­down of game ac­tion for the five-team league.

Shute does not see it that way. The two-of­fi­cial sys­tem, he said, can only help the league.

“Penal­ties were never a big is­sue,” said Shute. “It might be an is­sue at the start, but I think it’ll bal­ance out.”

Shute points to a suc­cess­ful us­age in the playoffs as ev­i­dence that games will not be slowed by the ad­di­tion of an­other of­fi­cial.

“The idea with the two of­fi­cials is to keep the game un­der con­trol with re­gards to missed off­side and goals,” he said. “With one man, it’s hard for him to watch ev­ery­thing.”

Mean­while, there have been no rule changes.

Shute said the ex­ec­u­tive toyed with the idea of adopt­ing a no­touch ic­ing rule. The puck would just have to cross the goal-line in or­der for ic­ing to be called.

“Teams would start us­ing it to kill the clock at the end of games,” said Shute.

League games are played on Tues­day and Fri­day nights.

Teams

The league also un­der­went a change in teams.

Stal­warts the Up­per Is­land Cove Hawks, Kelly’s Land­ing and the Shearstown Tigers re­main the same, with mi­nor player move­ment, and are still at the top of the league.

But, the two other teams from last year — Churchill’s and Keltic Mol­son (But­lerville) — have un­der­gone vast changes.

Play­ers from Churchill’s and Keltic com­bined ef­forts for this sea­son. Those who did not make the jump make up the Mol­son team from But­lerville.

The league is cur­rently in its 16th sea­son at the Bay Arena.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass file photo

Bay Roberts 19-and-over Recre­ational Hockey League presidet Neil Shute.

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