In its two game series with the Gander Flyers Jan. 11-12, the Eastlink CeeBee Stars (6-9-1) debuted a new-look lineup at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.
© Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass
Roger Kennedy makes a save through traffic in the third period of senior hockey league action on Jan. 11. Kennedy stopped 42 of the 45 shots he faced in his first weekend as a CeeBee.
And they, along with the start of 2014, did not disappoint for the club.
Slick skating import forwards Ben Duffy and Matt Quinn, as well as steady keeper Roger Kennedy provided a solid lift for the club that previously had trouble fielding a full lineup to end 2013.
After watching all three in action against the Flyers, it is hard to understate the impact all three had in all aspects of the game.
The inclusion of Duffy and Quinn in the lineup seemed to jump start a CeeBees attack that had averaged just three goals a game in the first half of the season.
The Harbour Grace-club blasted the Flyers 6-1 on Jan. 11, to go along with a 10-3 thumping of the visitors on Sunday (Jan. 12) afternoon.
The victories put the CeeBees in sole possession of fifth place in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League with 13 points
How they fared
Duffy accounted for eight points over the weekend, being a factor on roughly 50 per cent of the team’s offense.
Duffy and team leading scorer Jordan Escott made up a dynamic pairing. The two were a danger to score every time on the ice and drew awes from fans with a passing display that bordered on ridiculous.
At times, it appeared the two were playing keep away with the puck.
Skating with Duffy, Escott continued his meteoric rise this season, racking up six points (a goal and five assists).
“We brought Ben (Duffy) in to provide some more offense to go along with the year that Jordan (Escott) is having,” said coach Peter George.
Moving to Quinn. He appeared to be a danger to the opposition every time he touched the puck, using his superior speed to open up ice for him and his teammates.
The Timmons, Ont. native had two goals and three assists in his new digs.
“Matt Quinn is a veteran of this league, he’s one of the fastest players in this league,” said Peter George. “He can be a factor in both ends of the rink. So, we’re certainly happy with that.”
Kennedy, his contributions not to be understated, was solid and at times spectacular in stopping 42 of the 45 shots he faced for the CeeBees.
“He was stellar this weekend, I thought,” said George.
Acquired from the Clarenville Caribous for forward Chad Earle, Kennedy might be the key piece of the moves made prior to the weekend.
The Mount Pearl native gives the CeeBees a dependable backstop who does not take up an import card.
“With the weather we’ve been having, if a goaltender doesn’t get in on a playoff weekend, it could be your season,” said George.
Weekend round up
The CeeBees and Flyers started slow on Jan. 11. The first period passed by without either team notching a tally.
That quickly changed as Steve Brazil got things started for the Flyers. Duffy and Ray Dalton quickly replied for the CeeBees as the period ended with the home team up 2-1.
In the third, the CeeBees scored four times getting goals from Quinn, Duffy, Colin Feehan and Matt Bragg. Harbour Grace won 6-1.
Special teams were non-existent for both clubs as they combined to go 0-for-11 on the powerplay.
In Game 2, Harbour Grace jumped out to a 3-1 first period lead off of goals from Mike Dyke, Wes Welcher and Feehan. Rob Mignardi replied for the Flyers.
The CeeBees used a four-goal second frame to put the stamp on the Flyers. Dyke, Escott, Fred Earle and Duffy.
In the third, Dyke notched his third of the game, while Quinn and Andrew Smith also scored for the CeeBees. Peter Campbell notched a pair, but it was not enough as the CeeBees won 10-3.
Harbour Grace is next in action this weekend when the club welcomes former captain Matthew Thomey and the Western Royals to town.
Game 1 is scheduled to go 7:30 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 18), while Sunday’s affair is scheduled for 2 p.m.