Ceebee Stars aim to even record

Hop­ing to over­come slow start to 2013-14 sea­son

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Eastlink CeeBee Stars en­tered pro­vin­cial se­nior hockey league ac­tion this past weekend with just three wins in 10 games, but in true CeeBee fash­ion, team mem­bers be­lieve they can turn things around ahead of the Christ­mas break.

Of­fi­cials with the club have set the goal of play­ing .500 hockey by the time the cal­en­dar turns to Jan. 1, 2014.

It will be a tall or­der, but not an im­pos­si­ble task for the Har­bour Grace-based club.

The team will play two more games be­fore the break — a home-and-home se­ries with the Mount Pearl Blades — af­ter play­ing the sec­ond place Clarenville Cari­bous this past weekend. Re­sults were not known prior to dead­line.

Should the CeeBees have swept the Cari­bous in that se­ries, and fol­low that up with sweep of the Blades this weekend, the CeeBees would be right where they want to be head­ing into the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

The CeeBees have shown flashes of sta­bil­ity in the early sea­son, how­ever, the team must put to­gether a full 60 min­utes of hockey if it wants to reach the goal.

In two of the team’s losses this sea­son the team has played tight games with the Cari­bous and the Grand Falls-Wind­sor Cataracts head­ing into the third pe­riod, only to see the bot­tom fall out of those games and end up los­ing by a spread of two or three goals.

In those third pe­ri­ods, the CeeBees were out­shot 18-8 and 19-6.

“I think we’re still learn­ing as a team, and we cer­tainly have to get bet­ter in the third pe­riod and we know that,” said vet­eran for­ward Chris Sparkes. “It’s some­thing that we have to work on as a team.”

Things have to start in the de­fen­sive end for the CeeBees. That in­cludes tak­ing care of the puck and cut­ting down on trips to the penalty box.

“We have to start play­ing a bit more de­fen­sive hockey,” said Sparkes.

CeeBees’ coach Ian Moores knows the march to .500 will not be an easy one.

“That is the goal. Is it pos­si­ble? It is pos­si­ble,” he said. “Is go­ing to hap­pen? Who knows.

“That is def­i­nitely the goal and we’re go­ing to scratch our way back to .500 and go from there.”

The CeeBees re­turn to ac­tion this week- end with a two-game se­ries with the Mount Pearl Blades. The first game is sched­uled for Dec. 13 at the Mount Pearl Glacier with puck drop sched­uled for 8 p.m. Game 2 moves to Har­bour Grace on Satur­day (Dec. 14) and is sched­uled for 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Matt Mol­loy/transcon­ti­nen­tal Me­dia

CeeBees’ Wes Welcher driv­ing hard against Gan­der Fly­ers’ de­fence­man Brad Slaney in pro­vin­cial se­nior hockey league ac­tion at the Gan­der Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on Dec. 1. The CeeBees won 4-3 in a shootout.

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