CeeBee Stars need greater fan support, says coach

Terry Roberts
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CeeBee Stars head coach Corey Crocker (right) and assistant Ian Moores walk off the ice during a recent senior hockey game at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.

A longtime player and coach with the CeeBee Stars said it’s disappointing that the club is drawing the fewest fans “by far” in the five-team Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League.

Assistant coach Ian Moores said fan frustration is understandable in light of the fact the team has a record of 5-10-0, and has only won a single game on home ice in Harbour Grace this season.

But he reminds fans that every game has been close, and the calibre of hockey is as good as anyone will find outside of the professional ranks.

“It’s embarrassing we're sitting in the position that we are,” Moores said of the team’s fifth place ranking in the standings. “But there’s no team that has blown us out this year.”

During a recent weekend series with the first place Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, there were plenty of empty spaces available on the bleachers, with some estimating the crowds at about 750 for the Friday and Saturday contests.

The Cats won both games by scores of 5-3, but the CeeBees were by no means outmatched, and likely deserved a better fate in the opening game.

Moores suggested senior hockey will not last much longer in Harbour Grace unless attendance improves, noting that “we only have a limited number of ways to collect money, and the gate is our biggest source of revenue.”

He reminded fans of the rich hockey history in Conception Bay North, and noted that attendance was stronger when the team competed in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League.

“This is something we never really had to face,” he noted. “Some say it’s because of the increase in ticket prices and the unknown schedule, but it’s certainly not because of the quality of hockey.”

Moores acknowledged some fans miss the heated hockey rivalry that developed between the CeeBees and the now-defunct Southern Shore Breakers. But he said the CeeBees, a team laden with talent at every position, are now “desperate” for wins and greater support from its fans could be the difference between winning and losing.

The CeeBees will host the third place Western Royals for a pair of crucial games this weekend, and a pair of losses would put the team’s chances of securing the fourth and final playoff berth in serious jeopardy.

The visiting Royals stole two games from the CeeBees earlier this season, but Moores is looking for a better result this time around.

“There’s no reason why we should lose two games at home to any team. We've got to do all we can to move up in the standings,” said Moores.

Game 1 of the weekend series gets underway Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m., while Game 2 is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League, Avalon East Senior Hockey League, Game 2

Geographic location: Western Royals

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Recent comments

  • Ian Moores
    January 18, 2013 - 15:13

    Hey Slades Electronics...why don't you use your real name to post comments ? And why are you down on the team so much ?

  • mike
    January 17, 2013 - 06:56

    i guess the cee bees and the compass must have a business connection.Every week theres somerhing about the cee bees. I dont think people care because i dont.i got a 6 yr old who plays hockey there and you would not believe how kids are suffering in order for the cee bees to gain in a finacial aspect.Cees Bees are a bunch of wash up fellows who are desprite. Maybe cut there salary in half or cut back on the beer. i guess with all the changes with EI system now that the cee bees will have to find work after the hockey season.I work at tims and they are hiring

  • Slades Electronics
    January 16, 2013 - 13:55

    Sounds like the boys are having trouble paying the bills again. My son, start with the flights you're wasting getting a coach in and move on from there on out. Then look at a feller like Chris Sparkes, two shifts a game, he asked for a release and I can't blame en. When you are paying a guy like Terry 'over the hill' Ryan to come out and play and sitting Sparkes, a local feller, you are asking for trouble. The Sparkes crowd don't even come to the games anymore. Time you started tasting your own medicine. Problem 2 - Delaney boys turns around and tells moores they wants to go on the ice, they goes out there. Old boys club is dismantling. Be lucky to have something to watch next year.