Ceebee Stars begin home portion of playoff series
It is often said builds character.
If this season is any indication, the CeeBee Stars will enter the playoffs with character in spades.
From two separate prolonged losing skids, to having to play the top ranked Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts without the services of its head coach — Corey Crocker — who was suddenly let go on Feb. 11, the CeeBees have gone through enough adversity than multiple franchises would be able to endure.
But, as the team gets set to welcome the Cataracts to the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace for Games 3 and 4 this weekend, that is all in the past.
“Now’s the time to move forward,” said captain Keith Delaney.
With a record of 20 wins, three losses and one overtime loss, the Cataracts record speaks for itself.
“We don’t think that record is by fluke. They’re a good team,” said Delaney. “But, at the same time we look at our record … we think we’re better than our record.”
Although the Cataracts won the season series 5-1, the CeeBees headed into the series’ first two games (results unavailable) with an enhanced sense of confidence after the team bested the Cats in the final meeting between the two with a 6-5 shootout win.
Combine this with the playoffclinching 5-3 victory over the Gan-
that adversity der Flyers, which saw the CeeBees dominate at both ends of the ice, and the team is rolling at the right moment.
“The whole team is feeling pretty good,” said Delaney.
Like any team travelling to open a playoff series, the captain said his team was “focusing on one game at a time” and will carry that same mentality into Harbour Grace this weekend.
Ideally, Delaney said the plan is to come out of Grand Falls with a split and shifting home-ice advantage to the CeeBees.
For the CeeBees, it will be key to continue to play their own game.
Grand Falls likes to play a speed game, and the CeeBees are going to look to keep the puck deep in the offensive zone.
“The more time we can spend in their zone, the less time we’ll spend in our zone.
“We know that if we aren’t defensively sound against Grand Falls, it’ll be over pretty quickly, so we have to take care of our own zone first.”
Game 3 is set for Saturday (Feb. 23) with puck drop at 7:30 p.m., while game time is 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 24.
CeeBee Stars captain Keith Delaney moves the puck into the Gander Flyers zone during the final game of the regular season for both teams on Feb. 10. Delaney and the CeeBees are preparing to welcome the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts for Games 3 and 4 of the Herder Memorial Trophy semifinal series.