Thomey’s job creates opportunity to rejoin CeeBee Stars
Matthew Thomey set for CeeBees return
Former CeeBee Stars captain Matthew Thomey will look to claim another Avalon East Senior Hockey League title with the club this season. A well regarded player who spent several years with the team before heading to the Corner Brook Royals due in part to work commitments, Thomey is set to come back and suit up once again for his hometown team.
Before a couple of weeks ago, Harbour Grace’s Matthew Thomey was looking at a season without senior hockey.
The 30-year-old winger’s skate with the Western Royals was no longer an option after the team took a one-year hiatus from the provincial senior circuit. Working in the Stephenville area pretty much put the brakes on suiting up for one of the other teams.
It wasn’t until opportunity knocked back east that Thomey realized the possibility of getting regular game in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League. A teacher by trade, he’d been offered a job much closer to home and he jumped at it.
Last week, the HGOE CeeBee Stars announced Thomey was making his return to his hometown club via their Twitter feed.
“It caught me by surprise,” Thomey said of the opportunity to play with the CeeBees. “I was out on the west coast and had started the (school) year.”
Quickly, his thoughts turned to Harbour Grace and what it could mean for his senior hockey career. After making all of the calls one has to make when they’re moving across the island for a new job, Thomey was quick to get in touch with representatives with the CeeBees.
For them, it was a no brainer. Thomey is from the community and got his start in the CeeBees Minor Hockey Association.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he told The Compass. “I can’t wait. It’s been four seasons since I haven’t played with the team with the CeeBees. That’s where I played hockey all those years ago and I played four years (with the senior team) before I moved away for work.
“A lot of my friends are still … playing, so it’s going to be great getting on the ice with those guys.”
Getting it done at both ends
If there’s one thing Thomey is known for is his ability to play on both sides of the puck. He could always be counted on for a consistent effort in both the offensive and defensive zones.
In three seasons with the Royals, he registered point totals of 15 (7 goals, 8 assists),17 (6 goals, 11 assists) and 11 (one goal, 10 assists). Meanwhile in his last go around with the CeeBees in 2012, Thomey posted 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) in 24 games.
“Now that I’m home and getting into a regular routine now that I’m home, I’m hoping to chip in on the offensive side,” he said. “I think I’m the same player I always am. You know, two-way and take care of both ends of the ice and help lead the team in any way that I can.” A leader While playing two-way hockey is a big part of what Thomey brings to the table, it might not be the most important thing.
For a long time, he’s been looked at as one of the top leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador senior hockey both in the dressing room and on the ice.
Thomey has the penchant for the big goal and he hasn’t been afraid to stand up for a teammate. It can’t be understated the importance of having another experienced player on the team.
“(Thomey) is a class act,” said CeeBees’ spokesman Mark Reynolds. “The leadership he brings will be huge. There’s no one better. He’s going to be very effective in this league.
“We’re just ecstatic to have him. It caught us by surprise.”
The Thomey move is one of a number of changes that have CeeBees brass brimming with excitement heading into the new season. It’ll be their second since returning to the AESHL and they’re looking to do some big things.
Adding Thomey’s name to the likes of Robert Slaney, Sam Roberts, Andrew Fenwick, Daniel Sparkes and others is a boon for the team. Add that to the influx of talent from the CBN Junior Stars and things are looking up. They also own the first pick in this year’s opening league draft.
“There’s a lot of winds in our sales,” said Reynolds. “The CeeBees are a great team to be looking to become a part of.”
With the provincial senior league in a state of flux, there’s a possibility the likes of Keith Delaney, Ryan Delaney, Brett Shute, Brandon Roach and other local players could make their way back.
However, that’s all speculation at this point.
For Thomey, it’s all about getting the opportunity to play at home.
“It’ll be a good feeling pulling the jersey over my head,” he said.
Harbour Grace’s Matthew Thomey is suiting up with the HGOE CeeBee Stars this season after four seasons away.