Newfoundland Senior Hockey has seen its share of controversy in the past....
Scheduling Conflict Affect Royals
After defeating the Clarenville Caribous in Game 7, the Corner Brook Royals were off to the Central West Senior Hockey League finals as they continued their quest for the Herder Memorial Championship.
The Royals were scheduled to face the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts in games 1 and 2 on February 27th and 28th at the Joe Byrne Arena in Grand Falls-Windsor, returning to Corner Brook for games 3 & 4 on March 5 & 6. There was one problem – the ice at the Corner Brook Civic Centre was not available for the Royals home opener in the finals.
Scheduling conflicts with the 2016 Special Olympics meant that the ice surface was not available for the Saturday night game.
The Corner Brook Royals reached out to the Cataracts exploring the possibility of modifying the schedule that would have the Cataracts open in Corner Brook for games 1 & 2, with the remainder of the schedule ensuring home ice advantage would still be the Cataracts. This request was refused by the Cataracts meaning that the Corner Brook Royals had to look for an alternate ice surface for their Saturday opener on March 5. They turned to the Hodder Memorial Stadium in Deer Lake for their “home” opener.
While some fans have expressed their displeasure with the move for Saturday’s home opener, there are many die hard fans that will make the 40 minute jaunt up the highway because it is their Royals team that are in the finals. Unlike last year, the Royals are healthy, they have made significant changes on the ice and have split the season series with the Cataracts, taking 3 of the last 4 games played, including the last 2 played in Grand Falls-Windsor.
The Corner Brook Royals acknowledged that this was their problem and see the move as being the best of a bad situation. The Special Olympics had been given the time at the Civic Centre months in advance of the start of the 2015-16 CWSHL season. The Royals would have loved to have had the home opener in the City of Corner Brook but they recognized the significance that the Special Olympics brings to the area and given the Cataracts unwillingness to adjust the schedule accordingly, the Royals opted to move up the highway for Saturday’s game.
As one person close to the Royals noted on our discussion forum:
Obviously this was an unfortunate situation we had to deal with and a decision had to be made and we obviously have to play the game. It’s not out intent to out a sour taste in our fans mouths or upset them … Our hands were tied and its the only solution to rectify the situation.
Deer Lake is no stranger to hosting the Royals organization. The team had relocated there for a few seasons. This time is different, it’s for a single game and the Royals will be back in Corner Brook on Sunday, March 6.
What’s your thoughts on the Royals having to open the finals in Deer Lake. Drop us a comment below and let us know.