Great show­ing for CeeBees in provin­cial play

Har­bour Grace as­so­ci­a­tion grabs nine provin­cial medals

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­

It was a ban­ner year for mi­nor hockey teams in the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia re­gion at var­i­ous provin­cial tour­na­ments around the prov­ince.

Teams from as­so­ci­a­tions in Bay Roberts, Har­bour Grace, Pla­cen­tia and Whit­bourne brought home a bas­ket­ful of medals.

How­ever, there was one as­so­ci­a­tion that rose above the rest this sea­son.

The CeeBees Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion in Har­bour Grace sent 11 teams to provin­cial tour­na­ments in both the mi­nor and fe­male di­vi­sions and brought home an un­prece­dented nine medals.

The CeeBees picked up four gold, four sil­ver and one bronze en route to the im­pres­sive show­ing.

By com­par­i­son, the fol­low­ing is a break­down of how the other three as­so­ci­a­tions fared:

Bay Arena - five medals (two gold, two sil­ver and one bronze); Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia – four medals (three gold and one bronze); Pla­cen­tia – one medal (bronze). Ob­servers be­lieve the CeeBees have not had a run like this in some time. It is a stark con­trast from last sea­son, which saw the as­so­ci­a­tion fail to pull in even a sin­gle medal.

“It’s awe­some,” said CeeBees’ pres­i­dent Wendy Pen­ney.

Nor­mally, an as­so­ci­a­tion is lucky to bring back three or four medals from provin­cial tour­na­ments. They are al­ways an in­tense ex­pe­ri­ence and are sure to break in the most un­ex­pected ways.

This sea­son, it ap­peared ev­ery­thing broke the CeeBees way.

“It comes down to our coaches, par­ents and play­ers,” said Pen­ney. “It’s a cu­mu­la­tive ef­fort on ev­ery­one’s part.”

She said as pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion the en­tire provin­cial tour­na­ment sea­son was an ex­cit­ing time.

Pen­ney makes it a point to stay in touch with ev­ery team un­der the CeeBees ban­ner. This means plenty of phone calls and text mes­sages from par­ents in places like Marys­town and Gan­der.

“We had teams call­ing me, ‘we’re in the cham­pi­onship game,’” she said. “I got around to see a lot of the teams.

“I went around and sup­ported and cheered them all.”

New pro­gram

It was those play­ers and coaches who made a smooth tran­si­tion into the new all-star pro­gram in­stalled by the CeeBees at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son.

For the first time in its his­tory, the as­so­ci­a­tion had its all-star teams prac­tice to­gether all sea­son, in­stead of the tra­di­tional half sea­son.

This change in phi­los­o­phy was met with some ini­tial trep­i­da­tion by some in the pro­gram, but that quickly faded away.

The proof is in the pud­ding, as they say, and the nine provin­cial medals ham­mer the point home.

“That’s all I’ve been hear­ing from coaches and par­ents is that it helps to prac­tice as a team all year,” said Pen­ney.

The CeeBees hosted two of the five tour­na­ments in the re­gion. Pen­ney said each were well-run and well­re­ceived by fans and par­ents alike.

“They were a class act with great hos­pi­tal­ity,” she said.

Mi­nor hockey as­so­ci­a­tions hang their hats on suc­cess at provin­cial tour­na­ments, and the CeeBees have much to be proud of as the off-sea­son be­gins.

“It was ex­cel­lent,” said Pen­ney.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

CeeBees’ pee­wee goal­tender Josh Mullins makes this im­pres­sive save on a North­east Ea­gles shooter dur­ing provin­cial pee­wee ac­tion at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace on April 21. Mullins and his team­mates were one of nine CeeBees’ teams to cap­ture a provin­cial medal.

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