After surrendering three third period goals at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Feb. 2, Eastlink CeeBee Stars (8-12-1) goaltender Roger Kennedy had one goal in mind.
© Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass
CeeBee Stars goaltender Roger Kennedy stares down Clarenville shooter Mitch Oake in the second period of the team's provincial senior hockey league game on Feb. 1. The CeeBees won 4-3.
Win the game.
That is exactly what he did, as he boar down and backstopped the CeeBees to a 4-3 victory over the Clarenville Caribous.
‚ÄúI really wanted to win,‚ÄĚ said Kennedy moments after the victory.
The Caribous, trailing 3-0 entering the third, rattled off three straight goals from Ryan Desrosiers (2) and Keith Delaney. It seemed like the team was in complete control and had the CeeBees on their heels.
It seemed like only a matter of time before Clarenville found the back of the net and took the lead.
However, Kennedy had other ideas.
‚ÄúFor a goaltender, pressure you kind of have to look past it,‚ÄĚ said Kennedy. ‚ÄúName of the game, you‚Äôre stopping the puck. No matter what team you‚Äôre playing, you‚Äôre stopping the puck.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI just want to stop the puck. That‚Äôs the bottom line.‚ÄĚ
The goaltender and his teammates bore down to end the third. The Caribous hit a couple of posts, but that was as close as they came to getting ahead.
Kennedy knew if his teammates were able to get him one more goal, he was going to stand tall in the goal and preserve the win.
That came late in the third for the CeeBees. Jordan Escott found a loose puck and deposited it behind Clarenville keeper Jason Churchill.
‚ÄúWhen it was 3-3, I said they‚Äôre not scoring. I have to get that win,‚ÄĚ said Kennedy.
Harbour Grace opened the scoring in the first period when Colin Feehan scored on the powerplay.
The rest of the period saw teams trade chances, but both goaltenders stood their ground and kept the score at 1-0 after the first frame.
The CeeBees played a masterful second period.
They shut down any Clarenville offense with a stifling neutral zone trap. When the Caribous did break it, Kennedy was there to shut the door.
While on the penalty kill, Feehan controlled a loose puck and deftly tucked a puck over the shoulder of Churchill to make it 2-0.
Just before the end of the second period, Kevin Reid used his exceptional speed to put space between him and the Caribous defender. Using a shifty deke, Reid beat Churchill to make it 3-0.
The win marks the fourth straight win on home ice for the CeeBees.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre always good in our own rink. Our fans are unbelievable,‚ÄĚ said Jordan Escott.
Although the team has been solid at home in recent weeks, the team still needs to put together a solid string of wins on the road. That is especially true when the playoffs roll around.
‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt have home ice in the playoffs right now, so we‚Äôre going to have to find a way to win on the road to bring it home,‚ÄĚ said Escott.
The CeeBees and Caribous are set to do battle again on Sunday (Feb. 2) with puck drop schedule for 1:30 p.m. at the Clarenville Event Centre.