Mechanical problems halts CeeBee Stars-Western Royals contest prematurely

Nicholas Mercer
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Ice resurfacer problems put a premature stop to the Sunday (Jan. 19) matinee between the Eastlink CeeBee Stars and the Western Royals at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.

Members of the CeeBee Stars and stadium workers attempted to patch a hole in the ice at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Jan. 19. The hole developed during the first intermission and caused the game between the CeeBees and Western Royals to be called off before the start of the second period.

During the first intermission, a malfunction with the propane tanks led the machine to jettison slush and water into the slot area in front of the goal closest to the scoreboard.

The water, normally heated to at least 140 Fahrenheit, rapidly cut a hole in the ice almost eight feet wide.

Stadium workers, along with some CeeBees personal and players, were quick to respond to the situation and attempted to seal the gaping hole.

In an attempt to speed up the process, carbon dioxide was sprayed on the area.

While it appeared to work, on-ice officials called the game off due to unsafe ice conditions.

The CeeBees were leading 1-0 at the end of the first on a goal from Ben Duffy.

In an unusual twist, the two teams attempted to figure out a solution to deal with the two points. A shoot out was attempted, but later stamped out by Hockey NL.

CeeBees’ president Nick Saunders said the move was a “little bit premature.”

“After contacting HNL, it was informed that would not be the correct thing to do under the protocol of HNL and Hockey Canada rules,” he said.

The players had already taken to the ice, many of them having to put their equipment back on, when the decision to nix the shootout was made.

Saunders told The Compass there is a meeting being arranged between CeeBees’ executive, town officials and the facilities manager to discuss the plan moving forward.

“The meeting will go over the best way to rectify it with regards to is there make up games to be had here? There a portion of the game to be made up,” he said. “If not, what’s the protocol for refunds.

“We just need to take our time, not be hasty in making decisions, find out what the protocol is in this situation and carry it out.”

Saunders also said the club will be seeking advice of the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League executive, as well as that of Hockey NL.

“This will be in an effort to determine what happens immediately on the remaining two periods,” he said. “Do we wait until season end to see if the outcome of the game will have any effect any standings of the two teams?

“Again, there are a lot of questions that we have … that fans have and eventually they will all be answered, but unfortunately, in this short time frame on Sunday afternoon, we can’t get them all answered.”

It is still unknown what will happen with the two points and no date has been announced when the final two periods will be played.

Organizations: Hockey Canada, The Compass, Newfoundland Senior Hockey League

Geographic location: Royals

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