With stops in Gander, Clarenville and Grand Falls-Windsor, it might’ve felt like the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars were never going to play a game in Harbour Grace.
But, that is all set to change as the CeeBees get set to welcome the Western (formerly Corner Brook) Royals to the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium for a two-game set over Remembrance Day weekend (Nov. 10-11).
The CeeBees played well on the road, posting a record of three wins and three losses over the first six games of the season.
Like in any sport, going on the road is a grind.
Players are a way from their families and the comfort of their own bed.
It’s good to be home, as they say.
“It’s a breathe of fresh air to be finally home,” said CeeBees head coach Corey Crocker.
The coach said his charges fared well at the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium last weekend (Nov. 3-4).
“I though we played well in the second half of the first game, and on Sunday, I thought we outplayed them,” said Crocker. “But, to come back .500, we’re in good shape and finally back on our home ice.
“I know guys are excited to get back.”
He said special teams will be big for the team coming home.
“I think our power-play has to be much better,” said Crocker. “We have to generate more shots and traffic in front of the net. Our power-play definitely has to get better.”
Although the team had some minor breakdowns last weekend, it is nothing to be worried about.
“We played some really good hockey teams. Clarenville, as everyone knows, is extremely good. Grand Falls is a really good team … and Gander is an expansion team that works really hard. That Gander team is going to win some hockey games,” said Crocker. “You always hate to lose, but you have to look at how you lose. We’re confident and we just have to be better in a couple of areas.”
The CeeBees were a part of an exciting home opener when they opened the season on the road in Gander.
Now, they are hoping for the same thing to happen Saturday night, as fans have been clamouring for their first glimpse of the newest CeeBees, including Upper Island Cove native Robert Slaney.
“We’re expecting a full house,” said Crocker.
A full house at the S.W. Moores means rabid fans, shaking glass and the familiar sound of a loud horn.
“The fans have to realize that they’re a big part of the way we play. How loud they are and how supportive they are toward our hockey team,” said Crocker. “The players thrive off it … I know, from talking to players, that teams don’t like coming to Harbour Grace because of the rink because the fans are on top of you.”
The Royals currently sit in fourth place, two points behind the CeeBees, with a record of two wins and two losses in four games.
Puck drop on Saturday (Nov. 10) is 7:30 p.m., while Sunday (Nov. 11) is an afternoon affair, with things getting underway 1:30 p.m.