Cee­bees ex­cited for chance to host Herder

The Compass - - P2012ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

For seven of the last eight sea­sons, the Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBee Stars have played the Herder Memo­rial Tro­phy cham­pi­onship se­ries at Mile One Cen­tre in St. John’s.

That meant for seven years, the team and its fans had to travel to the cap­i­tal city to watch the Cee­Bees bat­tle it out with the likes of the Deer Lake Red Wings and Grand Fall­sWind­sor Cataracts.

But, with Hockey New­found­land and Labrador’s de­ci­sion in June to give the five teams in the New­found­land Se­nior Hockey League the op­tion of host­ing the Herder fi­nal in their own rinks, that has changed.

In other words, if the Cee­Bees reach the fi­nal, the team will have the op­tion of play­ing in front of their home­town fans in Har­bour Grace, or at the much larger venue in St. John’s.

“We were ex­cited to get the news out there,” said Cee­Bees as­sis­tant coach Peter Ge­orge.

It was this ex­cite­ment that was be­hind the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s de­ci­sion to of­fer hot seats to fans. Fans were given the op­por­tu­nity to se­lect a seat in or­der to have that spot all sea­son, in­clud­ing the Herder fi­nal should the Cee­Bees make it to the cham­pi­onship se­ries.

Ge­orge said the hot seat op­tion is a move made for the fans.

“With the hot seat pro­gram, they are guar­an­teed to be re­warded for their con­tin­ued sup­port,” he said.

Never a home game

While Mile One was filled with Cee­Bees faith­ful come Herder time, it was not the S.W. Moores Memo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace.

It did not have stands painted in the colours of the Cee­Bees, nor were there fans stand­ing around the glass at both ends of the rink.

“It al­ways felt like it home-ice ad­van­tage for Ge­orge.

“The (Herder) for­mat of the past is quite sim­i­lar to football with the wasn’t a us,” said Su­per Bowl and the Grey Cup,” he said. “A des­ig­nated city gets to host the event no mat­ter what teams are in­volved.”

More im­por­tantly, the fans suf­fered.

It meant the ex­tra ex­penses of fuel, ac­com­mo­da­tions and meals for the very ded­i­cated fan base, and the or­ga­ni­za­tion felt with the games be­ing played at Mile One, there was not an op­por­tu­nity to pay the fans back for the ded­i­ca­tion and sup­port shown through the hockey sea­son.

“The for­mat is now the way hockey is in­tended, the fans that have sup­ported the team all year can now be a part of the big event,” said Ge­orge.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass file photo

In this Com­pass file photo, Cee­Bees play­ers gather at their bench dur­ing a stop­page in play dur­ing the Herder fi­nal ac­tion against the Grand Falls-Wind­sor Cataracts at Mile One Cen­tre in St. John’s in 2011. Hockey NL de­cided that the lo­ca­tions for this year’s Herder fi­nal will be de­cided by the the two teams com­pet­ing. The Cee­Bees hope to reach the fi­nal and have games at the S.W. Moores Memo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.