The Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars find themselves back in fourth place after defeating the Mount Pearl Blades 6-5 through sheer force of will Friday night at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.
The CeeBees got their game off first in the opening frame when Keith Delaney slide a puck past Mount Pearl goaltender Roger Kennedy's pad to make the score 1-0. Mike Dyke picked up the assist.
35 seconds later, Mount Pearl struck as Jason Hedges fired a loose puck over the shoulder of surprise CeeBees starter Freddy Diamond. Terry Ryan and Ryan Bellows had the helpers.
The CeeBees would get two more before the period closed off of the sticks of Kyle Doucet and Jamie Tobin, as the home team jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Mark Tobin assisted on both goals.
Mount Pearl fired back in the second, picking up three goals from Mark Chaplin (2) and Bellows, to make the score 4-3. Andrew Pearcey, Nathan Welton, Ryan and Hedges picked up assists.
Morgan Warren took a pass from Sean Wadden and slammed it past Kennedy to even the score up 4-4. Delaney had the other helper.
Captain Mathew Thomey made a player every captain makes when their teams need it, fighting off a check and sliding a backhand past Kennedy to pull the CeeBees ahead 5-4.
"One thing I was blessed with ... was leadership and it showed tonight," said head coach Corey Crocker. "The boys never panicked and they showed a lot of character."
The period ended with the CeeBees ahead. Colin Feehan assisted on the play.
The third period was won with intensity and hard work after Mount Pearl tied it up 5-5 on a goal from Colin Power. Adam Gear and Mark Roebothan had assists.
The CeeBees did not falter, picking up the effort and it showed on the score sheet.
They were able to hold Mount Pearl off of the score sheet, and got a timely marker from Matthew French late in the third.The final minute featured numerous scrambles in front of the CeeBees goal, but Diamond stood tall and maintained the win for the Harbour Grace squad, 6-5.
It was the first game in the last three meetings between the clubs that did not go to a shootout.
After the game, Crocker praised Diamond for the job he did in what was an emergency starter as Doug Jewer was forced to miss the game due to personal reasons.
Diamond got off to a shaky start but settled down and made big stops when he was called upon.
"Freddy Diamond played absolutely amazing tonight, and we knew that he could," said Crocker. "He has won Herder (trophies) off of his back before."
Thomey praised his team for not giving in when Mount Pearl stormed back in the second.
"We kept battling, kept playing hard and we deserved to win," he said.
With the victory, the CeeBees slide into fourth place with 18 points, overtaking the Blades, who dropped to fifth.
Crocker said Friday was a good win but his team couldn't lose focus heading into tomorrow night's tilt with the Corner Brook Royals."The focus is on tomorrow night," he stated.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.