Ceebees excited for chance to host Herder
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.
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.