The sounds coming from the dressing room of the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars were vastly different this time than it was the last time the team played at home.
Where head coach Corey Crocker would be heard ripping his team after its home opening defeat to the Western Royals then, this time the team let the good times roll to the tune of Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” after the CeeBees had just handed the Gander Flyers a 5-2 defeat in the visitors first time at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Dec. 1.
“It was the biggest game of the year,” proclaimed veteran forward Terry Ryan moments after the team picked up its first win at home of the new season.
Things did not start out as planned for the CeeBees.
The Flyers jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage some :47 seconds into the first period when former-CeeBee Sean Wadden beat new CeeBees starter Mark Yetman with a shot along the ice. Jordan Scott and David Chubb picked up the helpers.
Wadden was not expecting to get his first point against his old club so quickly.
“Not a chance,” he said.
However, the lead was short lived as Ray Dalton inadvertently banked a puck off of a Gander defenceman and into the net behind starter Patty O’Brien. Mike Dyke and Keith Delaney had the helpers.
Although the CeeBees pressured the Flyers for most of the period, it were the FLyers that struck next. David Chubb beat Yetman to put the Flyers up 2-1 at intermission.
“It certainly wasn’t part of the game plan to come out of the gate like that,” said interim CeeBees’ head coach Ian Moores. “We had a good chat shortly after that, and the boys realized the importance of this game and putting on a good show for our fans and for the full 60 minutes.”
Those words had an effect on the home side. The CeeBees pressed their attack in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals to regain and push the lead to 4-2.
Colin Feehan got things started when he fired a loose puck past O’Brien. Ryan picked up the assist.
Colin Escott got in on the action next when he beat O’Brien blocker side from the far circle. It was a goal O’Brien would have certainly liked to have back. Dyke and Grant Kenny assisted.
“We got the lead, and we were basically able to shut them down after that,” said Moores.
The highlight of the period was Ryan’s snipe moments after stepping out of the penalty box. The forward picked the corner far side, beating O’Brien over his glove hand.Jordan Escott and Donnie Gosse assisted.
“I haven’t been shooting enough,” grinned Ryan. “I guess in the last couple of years, I’ve passed more than I’ve shot.”
Dalton picked up his second of the night four minutes into the third to seal the deal for the CeeBees.
Wadden, who was traded for Jordan and Colin Escott, received mixed reaction in his return to Harbour Grace.
The crowd gave him an ovation when it was announced he had scored, but there were sections that jeered him whenever he skated near them.
“That’s hockey,” he said. “When you play for the other team, you’re not going to be liked.”
Wadden said the Flyers need to “come out hard and play our game” if they want to pick up two points Sunday.
The Flyers pelted Yetman with 27 shots, but the former-Cataracts goalie was up to the task making saves when his club needed him too.
“Mark Yetman is a great goaltender,” said Moores. “Right now, to me, he is the best goaltender in Newfoundland.”
Moores said the CeeBees’ goal this weekend was too come away with four points and the win Saturday means the club is halfway to its goal.
“The boys are focused and we have a job to do here tomorrow,” he said.
The two teams meet again Sunday (Dec. 02) with puck drop scheduled for 1:30 p.m.