CBN Ju­nior Stars prep­ping for Don John­son

Stars to rep­re­sent prov­ince at 2016 Don John­son Me­mo­rial Cup

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

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.”

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.