CeeBees of­fi­cially back

Team look­ing at po­ten­tial play­ers, fi­nal­iz­ing sched­ule

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

The Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars were of­fi­cially ac­cepted to play in the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League last week. Ac­cord­ing to the team, for­mer CeeBee and Up­per Is­land Cove na­tive Robert Slaney has al­ready con­firmed he’s will­ing to re­turn to the fold.

When last the CeeBee Stars team played in the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League (AESHL) in 2011, it hoisted the league cham­pi­onship.

The fol­low­ing sea­son, the club left the AESHL to join the pro­vin­cial se­nior hockey league.

Now af­ter four years away, the CeeBees will again at­tempt to cap­ture the league’s crown, as they’ve been ac­cepted into the league for the 2015-2016 hockey sea­son.

“Adding the CeeBees to our league will im­prove the com­pet­i­tive bal­ance and pro­vide ex­cit­ing ac­tion for hockey fans on the Avalon Penin­sula,” AESHL pres­i­dent Kevin Dicks said in a re­lease.

The CeeBees were unan­i­mously voted into the AESHL last Tues­day and prepa­ra­tions are al­ready un­der­way to en­sure the team fields a com­pet­i­tive ros­ter ahead of open­ing night on the week­end of Oct. 23.

“We look for­ward to re­new­ing our sto­ried ri­val­ries and bring­ing Satur­day night hockey back to the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Arena,” said new CeeBees ex­ec­u­tive pres­i­dent Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds and mem­bers of the pre­vi­ous CeeBees or­ga­ni­za­tion filed an ap­pli­ca­tion with the Avalon East league in July. The re­turn is good news for fans of se­nior hockey in the Conception Bay North re­gion. It fol­lows a pe­riod of dis­as­ter for the club, which was re­moved from the pro­vin­cial ranks and de­nied a game of hockey last sea­son. Last sum­mer, Grand Falls-Wind­sor, Gan­der, Clarenville and Cor­ner Brook formed the Cen­tral West Se­nior Hockey League. The CeeBee Stars and Mount Pearl Blade were not a part of those plans.

With the de­ci­sion made, the real work be­gins for the CeeBees. The team will look to form a booster club, some­thing that has been spo­ken about be­fore, and get a game day crew in place. Fundrais­ing ef­forts will also need to be ad­dressed.

While Reynolds con­firmed that Ian Moores will re­turn be­hind the bench as the team’s coach, a ros­ter of play­ers is still in progress.

He did tell The Tele­gram last week that for­mer Mon­treal Cana­di­ens and Toronto Maple Leafs farm­hand Robert Slaney, an Up­per Is­land Cove na­tive, has told the team he’s will­ing to play this sea­son. Slaney spent the last two sea­sons play­ing hockey for St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity in Nova Sco­tia. He is now study­ing medicine at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity.

For­mer play­ers like Fred Earle, Bron­son Dawe, Steven Gree­ley, Tommy Snow and Daniel Sparkes are also re­port­edly in the mix, along with oth­ers ei­ther from teams al­ready in the Avalon East league or play­ers com­ing from the ju­nior ranks. The league’s draft takes place Oct. 5.

“We’re pretty pos­i­tive and ex­cited about mov­ing for­ward,” Reynolds told The Com­pass. “We’re look­ing to get a lot of the com­mu­nity in­volved.”

Although the sched­ule is still be­ing fi­nal­ized, the CeeBees will meet the other four teams — the North­east Ea­gles, Bell Is­land Clues, St. John’s Caps and South­ern Shore Break­ers — a com­bined 24 times. One team CeeBees fans will no doubt look for­ward to see­ing again is the South­ern Shore Break­ers. The two teams have a sto­ried ri­valry dat­ing back to the last time both teams were in the East league to­gether.

“Hav­ing the Shore back will be huge for the fans,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds made men­tion of the ease with which the CeeBees worked with mem­bers of the league’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

“The Avalon East ex­ec­u­tive were all very good to us and fair to us,” he said. “We’re mov­ing for­ward very pos­i­tively with them.

“It is ex­cit­ing times for sure.”

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Up­per Is­land Cove na­tive Robert Slaney will re­port­edly re­turn to the CeeBee Stars when they be­gin play in the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League this fall. Slaney is shown here in ac­tion with the CeeBees dur­ing the 2012-2013 sea­son in this file photo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.