If this weekend is a sample, fans of the Cee Bees and Caribous are in for a season of high drama anytime these two face off.
Fans at the Sunday afternoon game at the Clarenville Events Centre got their money’s worth in three action-packed periods of hockey.
It was like déjà vu during the first period, with the Cee Bee Stars once again the first to light up the scoreboard.
Ryan Delaney grabbed a pass that came from the back of the net into the Caribous goal crease to score at 5:52. Fred Earle and Keith Delaney earned the assists on that play.
Just a couple of minutes later, at 7:14, the Cee Bees went ahead on a goal from Terry Ryan.
The Caribous managed to secure a point at 10:34 when Dale Sullivan beat Lavigne. He was assisted on the play by Chris Huilit and Andrew Sweetland.
The Sullivan, Huilit, Sweetland shift proved to be the Caribous strongest advantage on the weekend. Otherwise the Bous seemed to struggle with offensive and were lacking in strong defense. For most of the first period they spent more time trying to get the puck cleared from their own end, as opposed to challenging the Cee Bees goal.
At the end of the first period the Cee Bees had racked up 16 shots on Jason Churchill, while the Caribous managed just nine attempts on Lavigne.
The second period was an exercise in futility, for the most part, by both teams. This time around it was the Caribous on the offensive, with 17 shots on net. The Cee Bees had just nine attempts on Churchill.
Of those attempts, just one shooter managed to find the mark. David Victor, assisted by Sullivan and Matt Bragg, scored with just a little over four minutes left in the period to tie it up.
At four minutes into the third the Caribous went ahead on a goal by Matt Bragg, assisted by Huilit and Sweetland.
It was evident in that moment that the intensity was getting to some. Cee Bees goalie Charles Lavigne showed his frustration by whacking his stick on the ice several times after the buzzer sounded.
Patience was also wearing thin on the ice by the middle of the third period. A little pushing match in front of the Caribous net saw David Victor of the Caribous and Dough O’Brien of the Cees Bees sent to the sin bin for slashing.
The battle continued on the ice, with several close-calls and near-misses from both sides.
Then, with 3:27 left in the period, Keith Delaney scored on a pass from O’Brien to tie it up once more.
With 1:13 left on the clock the Cee Bees scored once again to make it 4-3. Mike Thomas scored, assisted by Robert Slaney and Mike Dyke.
Just like the night before, when the Cee Bees pulled their goalie in the dying minutes, this time it was the Caribous turn to employ the same strategy.
Right after the next face off, Churchill rushed to the bench and coach Ivan Hapgood added the extra man on the offense in an effort to tie the game.
Hapgood’s strategy paid off.
With just 44 seconds remaining, Andrew Sweetland beat Lavigne to tie it up and force the game to a shootout.
The Cee Bees eventually earned the win, to make it a two-point weekend. The Caribous, added three points to their collection from the weekend outing against their arch rivals.
Next week the Caribous are on the road. For the second time this season, they will take on the Western Royals in Deer Lake on November 3 – 4.