Team beats Mount Pearl 6-3 in home opener
On a night when the Eastlink CeeBee Stars raised its eight Herder Memorial Trophy championship banner, the team dominated the Mount Pearl Blades at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Nov. 2.
© Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass
CeeBee Stars netminder Freddie Diamond makes this save on Mount Pearl Blades forward Paul Hutchings at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Nov. 2. The CeeBees won 6-3, splitting the weekend series with the Blades.
The CeeBees were a better team in all areas of the game en route to a 6-3 victory over the visitors.
The game featured slick passing, big hits, smooth skating and timely goaltending.
The home team scored just :37 seconds into the opening frame when Doug O’Brien beat Mount Pearl keeper Marek Benda.
From that point, the CeeBees were in control. The club kept the play in the Blades’ portion of the ice en route to three first period goals.
While the Blades scored twice in the second period, the one goal advantage would be as close as they got.
CeeBees goaltender Freddie Diamond came up big when he had too, and the team in front of him were solid in their own end.
The Blades had no answer for the line of Jordan Escott, Terry Ryan and the experienced David Ling.
The trio accounted for half of the team’s goals. Ling had two, while Ryan added another.
Ling also added two assists, Ryan had three assists, while Escott had three assists.
Every time the line was on the ice, they were a threat to score. The triumvirate moved the puck well, using a strong cycle to keep the play deep in the Mount Pearl zone.
The three players have combined for 14 points through two games this season.
“I played with Terry (Ryan) before, and Escott has great skill,” said Ling. “If we keep playing that way and keep improving, we’ll be a good line. It’s fun playing with the offensive-minded guys.”
The two games with Mount Pearl were Ling’s first experience in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.
Although he finished with two goals on Nov. 1, the 20-year pro thought his second game went better than the first.
“I came into Mount Pearl and I was doing a lot more watching and learning. When you watch, you don’t play as good,” said Ling. “I felt much better. I felt like my mind wasn’t racing as much tonight.”
After O’Brien opened the scoring, Matt Bragg put the CeeBees up 2-0 finishing a beautiful pass from Fred Earle by beating Benda. Tyler Gale also had an assist on the goal.
Next, Ryan took a no-look pass from Ling and beat the Mount Pearl goaltender. Escott had the other assist on the powerplay marker.
The Blades scored twice in the second period, generating the most pressure they had all game.
Former CeeBee Mark Tobin got them on the board first, knocking a loose puck in the net behind Diamond. Trevor Throne and Chris Mooney had the assists.
Paul Hutchings had the second Blades goal of the period when he fired a backhand past the CeeBees goaltender. Jeremy Nicholas had the assist.
The two were linemates last season with the Trinity Placentia Junior Flyers of the St. John’s Junior Hockey League.
The CeeBees used the rest of the period to put the stamp on the game. Ling scored his first of the game, followed by Bragg’s second of the game.
Cory Blackmore had the other Mount Pearl goal, while Ling would add an empty netter to seal the victory.
The CeeBees have a lot of new faces in their dressing room, and coach Ian Moores said they are still growing as a team.
“It’s going to take some time for the boys to gel together as new linemates and new teammates, but we were able to get the split this weekend,” he said. “We’re going to get better and we’ll continue to get better.”
Earlier in the week, the CeeBees were up against the wall. The team had an Oct. 29 deadline to sell additional hot seats.
While the team did not meet the goal, there was enough improvement to carry on with the season.
On Nov. 2, some 600 fans took in the first home game of the season.
With the win, the CeeBees split the weekend series with the Blades.