Golden glow for Ceebees mi­nor

As­so­ci­a­tion picks up three tour­na­ment cham­pi­onships in one week­end

The Compass - - SPORTS - BYNICHOLAS MERCER

It was a golden week­end for play­ers on three teams in the CeeBees Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion on Feb. 22-24.

While the CeeBee Stars of the province-wide se­nior league were busy tak­ing a three-games-to-one ad­van­tage over the Grand Fal ls- Wind­sor Cataracts at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace, some 45 mi­nor hockey play­ers were get­ting gold medals hung on their necks at var­i­ous sta­di­ums around the province.

At the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts, the CeeBees ban­tam A team dou­bled the North­east Ea­gles by a score of 4-2 to take the tour­na­ment ti­tle.

The win marked the 11th straight win for the team and in the last three tour­na­ments as of March 1, the team has two golds and a sil­ver medal.

En route to the ti­tle, the CeeBees went un­de­feated, best­ing teams from North­east (8-1), Bay Arena (5-2) and Trin­ity-Pla­cen­tia (10-2).

Coach Brian Dono­van said the tour­na­ment win was a team vic­tory. “The team stepped up,” he said. Dono­van said the team was deal­ing with a short bench for the tour­na­ment.

Nei­ther he nor fel­low coaches Trevor Wil­liams, David Coombs and Rick Slade were avail­able to be on the bench and play­ers Jor­dan Coombs and Daniel Slade were at the pro­vin­cial AAA tour­na­ment with the Tri Pen squad in Mount Pearl.

For the coach, it was a credit to the over­all skill of the play­ers.

“We’re a deep team,” said Dono­van. “We have a strong core team, strong goal­tend­ing all right out through.”

The team is on a roll and peak­ing at the right time head­ing into the pro­vin­cial tour­na­ment. The team is head­ing to Bon­av­ista from April 4-6.

Mem­bers of the ban­tam team in­clude the fol­low­ing: Michael Han­cock, Jor­dan Coombs, Nick O’Neill, Noah Dono­van, Ryon Wil­liams, Michael Hoyles, Josh Slade, Ryan Jones, Devon Pike, Devon Groves, Ryan Slade, Ed­ward Don­nelly, Daniel Slade, Mark Ryan, Zachary Har­num, Kelsey Shute and Connor Par­sons.

Atom gold

The CeeBee atom B team was in a tough sit­u­a­tion with just un­der a minute re­main­ing in its cham­pi­onship tilt with the Bay Arena Rovers at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium on Feb. 24.

With 38 sec­onds re­main­ing in the game, Ri­ley Greene scored two goals to push the home team to vic­tory.

The fi­nal score was 5-4 for the CeeBees.

Coach Nick Saun­ders said that when the sec­ond goal went in the play­ers on the bench re­acted like they were go­ing to win the Herder Me­mo­rial Tro­phy.

Submitted photo The CeeBees mi­nor atom B team went un­de­feated en route to a gold medal at its host tour­na­ment at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace on Feb. 24. The CeeBees scored two goals in the last 38 sec­onds to beat the Bay Arena Rovers by a score of 5-4. Mem­bers of the team are: goal­tender Den­ver Neil; Front (l-r) — Ni­cholas An­tle, Ka­dyn Coombs, Sa­van­nah Shep­pard, Hope Fin­layson, Noah Reynolds, Ri­ley Shute and Ash­ton Coombs; mid­dle — Hai­ley Hoyles, Ri­ley Green, Hunter Saun­ders, Reid Deer­ing Mark Burke, An­drew Ped­dle and Ri­ley Pike; back — coaches Nick Saun­ders, Neil Shute and trainer Dean Shute.

Submitted photo The CeeBees’ pee­wee B team went un­de­feated en route to a gold medal in Clarenville on Feb. 22-24. Mem­bers of the team are: ice (l-r) — goal­tenders Ryan Comb­den and Liam But­ton; Front — Cody Squires, Madi­son Shee­han, Mark Tet­ford, Jen­nifer Pike, Dakota Shep­pard, Cam­ryn Tay­lor and Rhi­an­non Kelly; mid­dle — Se­bas­tian LeShane, Mitchell Hunt, Michael White, Josh Mercer, Liam El­lis, Richie Baker, Maxwell Bar­rett and Cameron King; back — coaches Wade Squires, Doug Tay­lor, Jim Hunt and Cory Kelly.

“It was some ex­cit­ing for the kids,” he said.

The game was played prior to the CeeBee Stars game that af­ter­noon and some of the se­nior play­ers were watch­ing the game.

“When we scored, they were down there bang­ing on the glass and cheer­ing,” said Saun­ders.

The team went un­de­feated in the round-robin por­tion of the tour­na­ment and Saun­ders said he could see his team get­ting stronger as they pro­gressed through the games.

The team is a young one, with only three sec­ond-year atoms in the lineup.

“The big­gest thing was get­ting them used to the tour­na­ment sit­u­a­tion,” said Saun­ders.

That meant get­ting used to spe­cial teams, amongst other as­pects that are not seen in novice games.

“Things like buy­ing into sys­tems,” said Saun­ders.

In the tour­na­ment, Saun­ders and his fel­low coaches fo­cused on get­ting their charges to get traf­fic in front of the net and dump­ing the puck in.

Pee­wee success

Mean­while, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s pee­wee B team has had some un­be­liev­able success this sea­son.

In four tour­na­ments, the team has man­aged to grab two gold medals and two sil­ver medals.

“We’ve def­i­nitely got­ten stronger as the year went on,” said coach Doug Tay­lor.

One of those gold medals was in Clarenville on Feb. 22-24.

Fea­tur­ing teams from Clarenville, United Towns and Glover­town, the CeeBees met the squad from Glover­town in the fi­nals.

The game was close up un­til the fi­nal two min­utes when Har­bour Grace was able to score, mak­ing it 4-3.

“The team really played well to­gether,” said Tay­lor.

The coach chalked his team’s success this sea­son to the “in­ter­est level of the kids.”

“It’s a great thing to be a part of the success,” said Tay­lor.

Saun­ders said the CeeBee as­so­ci­a­tion has great num­bers and is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing success be­cause of it.

“All of our di­vi­sions have been rep­re­sented by some really strong show­ings,” he said.

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