The Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars saw its losing skid extend to four games after the team dropped a 7-4 decision to the Western (formerly Corner Brook) Royals Sunday (Nov. 11) afternoon at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.
Turnovers proved to be, much like it was Saturday night,the teams undoing as the CeeBees had trouble keeping hold of the puck.
At least two Western goals were off of CeeBees turnovers. Special teams also played a difference in the outcome.
The Royals netted two goals on the powerplay, both off of backdoor passes. One of those backdoor passes got the Royals on the door first. Nathan Saunders snuck in from the point and deposited a pass from import Brett Morrison behind CeeBees starter Charles Lavigne.
The lead was short lived, however, as Jason Hedges blasted a puck over the left shoulder of Royals goaltender Bradley Dyke to tie the score at 1-1.
Three minutes later, Ray Dalton was the beneficiary of a mad scramble at one side of the net as the puck came to him and he fired it in the open net. Colin Escott and Mike Dyke assisted on the play.
The first period ended with the score 2-1 for the home side.
The Royals turned the game on its ear in the second with on two unanswered goals. First, Nathan Welton scored on the powerplay, again a backdoor assist from Michael Hynes. Stephen Simms also assisted on the play.
Next, former-CeeBee Mark Tobin hurt his former club by picking up his second goal of the season. Hynes and Simms assisted on the play.
After the second frame, the Royals were up 3-2.
The game opened up in the third stanza. There were six goals scored overall, two going to the CeeBees and four for the Royals.
Robert Slaney and Keith Delaney scored for the CeeBees, but it was not enough as Justin Barbour, Ryan Sparling, Brett Morrison and Jake Easton replied for the Royals.
The final in Harbour Grace ended up 7-4.
With the win, the Royals are on a four-game win streak.
“We picked up some new guys this season, and I think they’re starting to get to know each other a little better. They’re starting to gel,” said Royals’ assistant coach Ed Kearsey.
Every time the CeeBees pushed, the Royals pushed back. Kearsey attributed his team’s resiliency to a discovery of identity.
“We’re starting to come into our own, I think,” he said.
The CeeBees were short on defence being without the services of Donnie Gosse and Doug O’Brien.
The lack of defence was a target for the Royals.
“We started dump pucks on their defence,” said Kearsey. “We wanted to hit them and wear them down. I think, essentially, that’s what happened.”
CeeBees’ head coach Corey Crocker was not happy with his team’s effort over the weekend.
“We weren’t good at all this weekend,” he said. “We weren’t prepared to play. We weren’t committed to what we had to do to get four points this weekend. We have to address some things, but we’ll come back next week and get right back at it.”
The weekend series also marked the return of Upper Island Cove’s Robert Slaney to the stadium in Harbour Grace.
It was the first time in eight years that Slaney had skated on his home ice when he wa with the Tri-Pen Frost of the provincial major midget circuit.
“It felt pretty good,” he said of playing at home.
Slaney had a good weekend on the statsheet, picking up three goals.
But, he would rather have the wins.
“We just got to get it back to simple hockey,” he said. “We’ve been known to play a good, hard, tough game. Forecheck, bump and grind and that’s what we have to get back too. Simp hockey.”