It was a banner year for minor hockey teams in the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region at various provincial tournaments around the province.
Teams from associations in Bay Roberts, Harbour Grace, Placentia and Whitbourne brought home a basketful of medals.
However, there was one association that rose above the rest this season.
The CeeBees Minor Hockey Association in Harbour Grace sent 11 teams to provincial tournaments in both the minor and female divisions and brought home an unprecedented nine medals.
The CeeBees picked up four gold, four silver and one bronze en route to the impressive showing.
By comparison, the following is a breakdown of how the other three associations fared:
- Bay Arena - five medals (two gold, two silver and one bronze);
- Trinity Placentia – four medals (three gold and one bronze);
- Placentia – one medal (bronze).
Observers believe the CeeBees have not had a run like this in some time. It is a stark contrast from last season, which saw the association fail to pull in even a single medal.
“It’s awesome,” said CeeBees’ president Wendy Penney.
Normally, an association is lucky to bring back three or four medals from provincial tournaments. They are always an intense experience and are sure to break in the most unexpected ways.
This season, it appeared everything broke the CeeBees way.
“It comes down to our coaches, parents and players,” said Penney. “It’s a cumulative effort on everyone’s part.”
She said as president of the association the entire provincial tournament season was an exciting time.
Penney makes it a point to stay in touch with every team under the CeeBees banner. This means plenty of phone calls and text messages from parents in places like Marystown and Gander.
“We had teams calling me, ‘we’re in the championship game,’” she said. “I got around to see a lot of the teams.
“I went around and supported and cheered them all.”
It was those players and coaches who made a smooth transition into the new all-star program installed by the CeeBees at the beginning of the season.
For the first time in its history, the association had its all-star teams practice together all season, instead of the traditional half season.
This change in philosophy was met with some initial trepidation by some in the program, but that quickly faded away.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and the nine provincial medals hammer the point home.
“That’s all I’ve been hearing from coaches and parents is that it helps to practice as a team all year,” said Penney.
The CeeBees hosted two of the five tournaments in the region. Penney said each were well-run and well-received by fans and parents alike.
“They were a class act with great hospitality,” she said.
Minor hockey associations hang their hats on success at provincial tournaments, and the CeeBees have much to be proud of as the off-season begins.
“It was excellent,” said Penney.