Year in re­view

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - Com­pass file photo Com­pass file photo Com­pass file photo BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

It was a busy year for sports in the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia re­gion, and The Com­pass was there to cover most of what was hap­pen­ing. Our year in re­view looks back at the Cee­Bees se­nior hockey team’s trou­bles find­ing a league to play in, mi­nor hockey and school sport suc­cesses, and the Bay Roberts sum­mer swim team’s con­tin­ued dom­i­nance in the pool.

The Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia re­gion is as ac­tive sport­ing-wise as any other in the prov­ince.

Ath­letes tend to be ac­tive in a va­ri­ety of sports, and for the most part, in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful in them. It is not strange to find young peo­ple from this re­gion at the top of their cat­e­gories year after year.

In 2014, we saw a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant sports sto­ries take shape that high­lighted many of those ath­letes. It makes the decision to cut down the top-5 sto­ries for the year dif­fi­cult.

From suc­cesses at the 2014 NL Win­ter Games in Clarenville to at least a dozen ath- letes punch­ing their ticket to the 2015 Canada Win­ter Games in Prince George, B.C., there have been no short­age of sig­nif­i­cant sto­ries to choose from.

So, with­out fur­ther ado, here is The Com­pass’ top sports sto­ries for 2014:

1. Se­nior hockey moves on

with­out CeeBee Stars

For the first time in more than a decade, the provin­cial se­nior hockey sea­son started with­out a team from Har­bour Grace. The Eastlink CeeBee Stars were ousted from the up­start Cen­tral West Se­nior Hockey League in June as teams in Gan­der, Clarenville, Cor­ner Brook and Grand Falls-Wind­sor agreed to form their own league. The move was met with shock and dis­be­lief across the prov­ince, es­pe­cially with Cee­Bees faith­ful. Many took to so­cial me­dia to voice their dis­plea­sure with the decision. In an at­tempt to move for­ward, Cee­Bees of­fi­cials made an ap­pli­ca­tion to re­turn to the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League. How­ever, that was also de­nied. This left the team with­out a league to play in. The Cee­Bees were an in­sti­tu­tion amongst hockey fans in the re­gion and one of the more suc­cess­ful teams of the past decade. Will se­nior hockey re­turn to Har­bour Grace in 2015? Only time will tell.

2. Tri-Pen takes provin­cial, At­lantic pee­wee AAA ti­tles

It was a spe­cial year for the TriPen pee­wee AAA Ice in 2014. First in Fe­bru­ary, the team knocked off the St. John’s Ruckus to claim the provin­cial ti­tle. Then, the team over­came a pair of open­ing losses to start the At­lantic tour­na­ment to cap­ture the ti­tle with a 5-1 vic­tory over the EDZA East Cana­di­ens. It was the first time a team from the Tri-Pen re­gion had won the At­lantic ti­tle in more than two decades and first time for a New­found­land and Labrador team since 2009. The team fea­tured the best hockey tal­ent from pee­wee play­ers in mi­nor hockey as­so­ci­a­tions in Whit­bourne, Har­bour Grace and Bay Roberts. Many of those play­ers are now star­ing at the pee­wee and ban­tam lev­els in the new provin­cial AAA league.

3. Re­gion earns slew

of provin­cial ti­tles

Ath­letes of all ages were suc­cess­ful in their bids to cap­ture provin­cial ti­tles in 2014. An un­prece­dented 11 ban­ners were brought home to are­nas and schools this year. That in­cludes nine Easter tour­na­ment vic­to­ries by teams from mi­nor hockey as­so­ci­a­tions in Bay Roberts (two), Har­bour Grace ( four) and Whit­bourne ( three), as well as Sc h o o l S por tN L ti­tles in male soft­ball (As­cen­sion Col­le­giate, Laval), male and fe­male ball hockey (As­cen­sion Col­le­giate), cross coun­try run­ning (Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate) and fe­male bas­ket­ball (Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate). It was fur­ther proof that the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia re­gion con­tin­ues to pro­duce some of the finest ath­letic tal­ent in the prov­ince.

4. Bay Roberts Sea Lions cap­ture

20th con­sec­u­tive ti­tle

It’s hard to come across a com­pet­i­tive team that’s ex­pe­ri­enced the sort of run the Bay Roberts Sea Lions swim club has had. Over the sum­mer, the team cap­tured its 20th straight provin­cial sum­mer swim club ti­tle. That sig­ni­fied two decades of dom­i­nance for the 30-year-old team and was its 23rd cham­pi­onship over­all. This two-plus decades of dom­i­nance at the provin­cial level brings this group in at No. 4.

5. Tri-Pen ma­jor mid­get Os­prey prov­ing them­selves in sec­ond sea­son

The Tri Pen Os­prey of the New­found­land and Labrador Ma­jor Mid­get Hockey League are rolling in their sec­ond sea­son in the league. The team sits in first place of the five-team league as of Dec. 15 with a record of 16 wins and eight losses, good for 32 points. It is a stark con­trast from a year ago when the team squeaked into the play­offs on the last week­end of the reg­u­lar sea­son be­fore fall­ing in four games to the even­tual league cham­pion Cen­tral IcePak. A hand­ful of Os­prey play­ers are amongst the league lead­ers in goals, as­sists, points, goals against av­er­age and shutouts.

File photo by Joe Gib­bons/TC Me­dia

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