CeeBee Stars, Blues find themselves as rivals
Every team has a natural rival. Usually, it’s a team from the next town over or maybe the team from the opposite side of the bay.
When you think of natural rivals in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League, your mind drifts to the HGOE CeeBee Stars and the Southern Shore Breakers. For years, the two franchises gave each other their best and produced classic matchup after classic matchup.
Matchups between the St. John’s Caps and Northeast Eagles also come to mind.
Since their return to the AESHL, the CeeBees have renewed acquaintances with the Breakers, but things were flat between the two last year. Business has picked up this year between the two and it appears the rivalry is back on track after a number of close games in the early stages of the season.
However, a trip to the Danny Cleary Community Centre in Harbour Grace Nov. 26 would’ve led you to the conclusion that the CeeBees have developed another rival the last couple of years.
That night the team threw down with the Hickman Chrysler Blues and things were a throwback to an earlier time when the CeeBees welcomed the Flatrock Flyers to the venerable S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium.
On this Saturday night, the pair of teams combined for 179 penalty minutes. Several players had over 10 minutes in penalties, there were five fighting majors, 13 misconducts and a number of smaller offenses.
In four games, the two teams have combined for a whopping 409 penalty minutes, which averages out to 102 a game.
For those in attendance, it probably resembled the stories battles waged by the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche in the late-1990s when both teams went to war every time they met.
I think it’s great for the team and for the fans who have something to look forward too with a new rivalry developing. Peter George
For CeeBees brass, the burgeoning Blues rivalry came out of nowhere. They’re not the first team a fan thinks of when they think of a Harbour Grace rival.
Coach Peter George traces the beginnings of it back to last season.
“I think it’s a carry over from last year,” he told The Compass last week. “We had a few games that got pretty intense. They’re a team that won’t be pushed around and they play to the final whistle.”
This isn’t the first time the two teams have been in the same league, but it’s the first time they’ve been involved in this sort of emotional run.
In the CeeBees previous run in the AESHL, they routinely blew out the Blues by lopsided scores. That’s a stark contrast with recent history.
Last season, there were some close games between the two and aside from a 10-2 CeeBees victory last month, this year’s series has been close.
The Blues took the first one in a shootout and the CeeBees have won the last three.
“Just playing a team where there’s close games day in and day out, that’s how a rivalry gets built,” said George. “I think it’s great for the team and for the fans who have something to look forward to with a new rivalry developing.”
The CeeBees are next in action this Friday when they travel to the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay for a tilt with the Northeast Eagles. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Their next home date is Dec. 10 when they welcome the Breakers to Harbour Grace for a 7:30 p.m. showdown.
There seems to be a rivalry brewing between the HGOE CeeBee Stars and the Hickman Chrysler Blues in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League.