BAIE VERTE, NL — The Northeast Sabres and the Springdale Braves started out the second half of the Central Senior Intermediate Hockey League going in different directions last weekend.
The Sabres swept the two-game series with the Twillingate Combines at home in Baie Verte, while the visiting Lewisporte Seahawks swept the Braves in Springdale.
The weekend results saw the Sabres (7-2-1) regain first place in the league standings, while the Braves (6-4) slipped to second after riding a four-game winning streak before the break.
Sabres 7, Combines 5
In the Sunday afternoon matinee, the Baie Verte team survived a third-period rally from Twillingate to hold on for the victory.
The Sabres were up 5-0 and then 6-1 with just under three minutes to go in the second period, but four straight goals — one in the second and three in the third — saw the Combines battle back.
Greg Edgar (one goal) opened the scoring just over midway through the first period, and the score remained that way until well into the second.
Brady Morey (one goals, two assists) put the Sabres up 2-0 on a pass from Blake Stratton (one goal, one assist) six and a half minutes into the period.
Just over two minutes later, Morey returned the favour with an assist on Stratton’s goal, and less than a minute later, Travis Champion (three goals) got his first of two straight.
Sandwiched between goals from Champion, Kristian Greenham (one goal) got Twillingate on the board; however, Brett Robinson restored the five-goal lead, only to see it trimmed to four just 13 seconds later on a goal from Steve Earle (one goal).
It appears it was a different Combines team in the third period, as they scored three goals — Kirk Stockley (one goal, one assist), Jordan Bath (one goal), and Jody Hicks (one goal, two assists) — just over five minutes apart near the middle of the period.
Champion gave the Sabres a bit of breathing room with his third of the game, with just over four minutes to play.
Sabres 8, Combines 6
On Saturday night, host Baie Verte got a hat trick from Brett Robinson (three goals, one assist) and two more from Travis Champion (two goals, one assist) to lead them to victory.
The Sabres scored four times in the first period and four more in the third.
Rick Canning (one goal, one assist) opened the scoring just over five minutes into the game, before Champion made it 2-0 nearly 10 minutes later.
The last six minutes of the first saw a flurry of goals — two more from the home team and two from Twillingate — as the first wrapped up with a 4-2 score.
John Hull (two goals, one assist) got the first Combines goal with just over five minutes left. Two goals 36 seconds apart by the Sabres Champion and Morey (one goal) saw the lead grow to 4-1, but Jordan Bath cut it to two with 11 seconds remaining in the period.
The Combines tied the game at four with the only two goals of the second period. Hull scored with just under seven minutes gone in the period and Cameron Pardy (one goal) with just over six minutes to play.
The Sabres restored a two-goal lead in the third with goals from Robinson and Blake Stratton (one goal). Twillingate pulled to within a goal again when Kirk Stockley (one goal) scored near the midway point, but Robinson scored again less than a minute later.
Nathan Hull (one goal) scored with just under two minutes left, but Robinson iced the game with a goal with 24 seconds left.
Seahawks 9, Braves 6
The blades fell off the skates for the hometown Braves in the third period of a back-and-forth Sunday matinee in Springdale. The visiting Lewisporte team scored four times in the third en route to the win.
Springdale opened the scoring around the seven-and-a-half-minute mark on a goal from Jordan Chippett (one goal), but just over a minute later Matt Kinden (two goals, one assist) silenced the hometown fans quickly by tying things up.
The fans came back to life as the Braves jumped out to a 3-1 advantage on goals from Ryan Burton (one goal) and Brandon Burt (one goal).
The first ended tied at three however, as Barry Wheeler (two goals) and Greg Eveleigh (one goal, one assist) scored for the Seahawks.
The back-and-forth continued in the second period with the Braves going back in front, with Trenton Johanson (one goal, two assists) breaking 11 minutes of scoreless hockey.
Kinden got his second of the game to tie things up again, before Sherman McKay (one goal, one assist) put the hometown team back on top.
Hunter Downtown (one goal) made sure the visitors wouldn’t go into the second intermission behind, evening things again at five with just under two minutes to go.
The Braves couldn’t keep up in the third in this high-scoring affair. Three unanswered goals from the Seahawks — Marcus Freake (one goal, two assists), Steve Adams (one goal, two assists) and Wheeler — built an 8-5 lead. Jordan Snow (one goal, one assist) pulled the Braves within two goals with over five minutes left, but only Lewisporte’s Richard Blagdon (one goal, two assists) could muster any offence after that with a goal with seven seconds left.
Seahawks 5, Braves 3
On Saturday night, the goalies on both sides proved unbeatable in the final period of the game and the Seahawks had the early offence working to grab the win.
Lewisporte jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a pair of goals from Matt Kinden (three goals), before Ryan Cull (one goal) got the hometown squad on the board.
In the first half of the second period, the Braves took a 3-2 lead on goals from Trenton Johanson (one goal, one assist) and Jordan Chippett (one goal).
However, the second half of the second period belonged to the visitors.
Kinden got his hat trick goal to tie the score, then Barry Wheeler (one goal) and Luc Eveleigh (one goal) put them ahead 5-3.
Noah Weir for Lewisporte and Noah Butt for Springdale kept the scoresheet clean for the game’s final 24-plus minutes.
The Braves travel to Twillingate hoping to turn things around when they take on the Combines this weekend, while the Sabres have the weekend off before hosting Springdale Jan. 20 and 21.