© Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass
Eastlink CeeBee Stars defenceman Tyler Gale looks dejected as Mount Pearl Blades forward Mark Roebothan celebrates his second period goal in the background. The Blades defeated the CeeBees 4-3 in a shootout on Dec. 14.
It was not the finish the Easlink CeeBee Stars (4-9-1) were looking for, but they will have to take it as they head into the Christmas break.
The CeeBees dropped a tight 4-3 shootout loss to the visiting Mount Pearl Blades at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Dec. 14.
“It’s tough anytime you go through five shooters,” said CeeBees forward Jordan Escott.
Despite being severely undermanned with just 15 bodies on the bench, the CeeBees gave everything they had over the 60-minute contest.
Things did not get easier as captain Mike Dyke left the game at the beginning of the second period with an undisclosed injury.
Left with just four defencemen, the CeeBees battled the Blades for the final two periods. The teams traded scoring chances, saw stellar goaltending from both Joey Perricone and Ryan Mior and end –to-end action.
Mount Pearl jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period when Jeremy Nicholas deposited a puck in the net behind CeeBees starter Perricone. Rubert Barrett had the assist.
However, the home team got on the board later in the first frame. With Andrew Hill in the box for boarding, Colin Feehan made a nifty move to beat a Mount Pearl defender and beat Mior far side to tie the game at 1-1. The powerplay goal was assisted by Escott and Tyler Gale.
Despite a strong second period, the CeeBees found themselves trailing 3-2 by the end of the frame.
You could argue the Harbour Grace squad generated the majority of the scoring chances, but it was Mount Pearl that beat Perricone twice in the frame.
First, Mike Stevens beat the goaltender with a hard shot from the point when on the man advantage. Next, Mark Roebothan finished a nice pass from Cory Blackmore to put the Blades up 3-1.
Chad Earle beat Mior late in the frame to pull the CeeBees to within one. Earle scored again early in the third to tie the game.
The CeeBees game incredibly close to pulling ahead over the final 10 minutes of the game, but could not find the back of the net.
Controversy reared its head after Ray Dalton threw a puck towards the Mount Pearl goal. The majority of the rink thought the puck was in, however, the four officials convened in the corner and called the goal off.
Things got really tense in the dying minutes of the third period when the returning Donnie Gosse and Blades forward Ryan Graham were involved in an altercation in the penalty box while both were serving minor penalties.
“It’s really hard when you’re playing 14 on back-to-back nights,” said Escott. “But, you can’t make excuses. After Christmas, we should have a full lineup and we really need to get to work.”
The shootout loss left the CeeBees with one of a possible four points over two games this weekend and moves them into a tie with the Gander Flyers for fifth place in the six-team Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.