CBN Junior Stars prepping for Don Johnson
Stars to represent province at 2016 Don Johnson Memorial Cup
The CBN Junior Stars have plenty to be happy about over the next couple of weeks. They’ll be finished exams and getting ready to faceoff with the Avalon Capitals in the 2016 Don Johnson Memorial Tournament. There’s plenty of coverage this week, as we spoke about the experience with a trio of players who are used to winning and the head coach.
From the moment the CBN Junior Stars qualified for the St. John’s Junior Hockey League finals, they were bound for the 2016 Don Johnson Memorial Cup.
Their finals opponent, the Avalon Capitals, is hosting the highly regarded junior B Atlantic tournament held April 26 – May 1 at the Conception Bay South Stadium in Kelligrews.
Trailing three games to one in the series and their tickets punched already, it would’ve been easy for the Stars to fold their tents and accept their prize.
The outcome wouldn’t affect the fact the Stars were going to square off with some of the finest junior hockey talent from Atlantic Canada at the Don Johnson regardless of who won.
However, they wanted to claim the league championship. It’s what they’d been playing for all year.
Coming all of this way would have been for naught if they didn’t.
CBN came all the way back forcing a Game 7. They won that game too, 4-0, and enter this year’s Don Johnson as both the league champions and Team Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We’re on a high after win-
ning,” said coach Rod Noseworthy. “The boys deserve it with the way they played.” A much needed break
The Stars now receive the much-needed break they were craving between the end of the SJJHL semi-finals the finals.
And a break they’ll get. Between April 9 when they finished the finals and April 26 when they kick of the tournament against the same Capitals, the Stars will get 16 days off.
That’s more than two weeks of valuable rest and relaxation to heal any nagging injuries players are dealing with.
“We really needed a break,” said Noseworthy. “We have a couple of injuries. The boys can get over some of the bumps and bruises.”
With that break undoubtedly comes the risk of getting complacent and rusty. With exams on the go for many of the players, Noseworthy said getting them on the ice prior to the tournament may be difficult.
The Bay Arena in Bay Roberts is scheduled to lose its ice this weekend, making matters a bit more difficult.
One thing that could counteract that is the long playoff run. The Stars played 19 extra games
of hockey as a result. Tough choices
When it comes to overage players, regulations for the Don Johnson and the league itself vary.
The St. John’s league allows teams to carry six overage players, whereas the Atlantic tournament sets that number at just four.
That means there are some tough choices ahead for the Stars. With the majority of the team being available for the Don Johnson, they have cut two players who have been contributing all year.
“There are some tough choices there,” said Noseworthy.
As it is with any tournament like the Atlantics, there is that sense of the unknown. Teams don’t know each other.
They don’t know anything. Not style of play, go to shooters, nothing. But, it’s that sense of mystery that has the Stars excited to get going.
“They’re all looking forward to it,” said Noseworthy. “It’ll be a great experience for them, especially since it’s being played in Newfoundland.
“We’re proud to represent the province. We knew we had the team there.”
The CBN Junior Stars are set to participate in the 2016 Don Johnson Memorial Cup being held April 26- May 1 at the Conception Bay South Stadium in Kelligrews.