Archive for WCSHL
The Corner Brook Royals and the Deer Lake Red Wings were both swept in their playoff series in the 2009-2010 edition of the West Coast Senior Hockey League.
The Corner Brook Royals exit in 4-straight comes as no surprise after they finished last in the regular season and failed to live up to expectations throughout the entire season. After some early season successes, many critics and fans alike thought that this would be the year the Corner Brook Royals returned to the top of their game. It was however, never meant to be.
Stars such as Morgan Warren and Terry Ryan did very little throughout the season, leaving the Royals struggling offensively. While other players tried to pick up the slack, the Royals were unable to get any momentum going throughout the season and into the playoffs.
Topping it off, the Royals lost their coach Juan Strickland for the last 2 games of the season after he was suspended by HNL for comments made in The Western Star, questioning the treatment of Royals toughman Roger Maxwell.
The exit of the Deer Lake Red Wings came as a surprise to many fans but not to others. The Deer Lake Red Wings struggled the entire year with their lineup often playing short-benched throughout the regular season. Their defense was also recognized as one of the weakest in the league.
Questions surrounding these two organizations are surfacing in the wake of their early exit from the playoffs. Will this be the last year for the Royals? Will Deer Lake fold if the Royals are not in the league.
Time will tell.
After weekend one of the West Coast Senior Hockey League playoffs it’s evident both the Corner Brook Royals and Deer Lake Red Wings are feeling the pressure falling 2-0 in their best of 7 series during their opening round battle.
Reports coming from Clarenville indicates the Royals looked ragged in their first game, trying to be physical but ended up making mistakes, taking dumb penalties and eventually losing 8-3 in game one. One fan from Corner Brook sent an email to Newfoundland Hockey Talk stating “It was embarrassing to watch. Our guys didn’t even show up to play.”
Game two was a different story. The Royals jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and appeared to have a different plan of attack. Several stupid penalties later (while some fans will say several questionable calls later), the Caribous were in the lead and never looked back.
The same can be said for the Wings / Cataracts series. The once mighty Wings lost 4-1 in the opening game and could get nothing going offensively. They had some chances but looked disorganized at times. Their defense struggled throughout the game and leaving many scratching their head.
In game two, the Cataracts dominated with a 9-2 victory. It was evident early on that the Wings were in trouble.
If things keep going this way, it is very evident the West will be won through speed and skill. The Royals and the Wings have built their team around size and aggression but it doesn’t appear to be working in the new era that has come into the West Coast Senior Hockey League.
The Caribous and the Cataracts have definitely changed the face of the league combining speed and skill throughout their lineups and acquiring just enough grit to protect some of their top players. Both organizations have held true to their commitments given to fans to have winning ways.
The Caribous set the bar when they entered the league. They ushered in this new era that we are seeing. Their players came with one thing in mind – winning! This organization built a solid team on the ice with young up-and-coming players, strong goaltending, experienced coaching and community support.
The Cataracts followed suit, cleaned house of the “old guard” and dumped those that didn’t buy into the new program. Despite outcries from fans, the management and coaching staff held true to what they felt was required to build a quality organization.
This season’s success is proof that it worked and the Cataracts are now poised to probably sweep the Wings.
Weekend two of the playoffs is just a few days away. It will be interesting to see how Deer Lake and Corner Brook regroup on home ice.
The Wings and the Royals need to get their heads into the game and play smart hockey. They can ill afford to take stupid penalties or blame their losses on the refs.
While the Wings have struggled all season with icing a full lineup and a struggling defense, there is still hope as they head back to Deer Lake next weekend – its haven when it comes to fan support and success. There’s no doubting the heart that this organization has shown throughout their successful history.
The Royals are a different story. This organization has struggled for several seasons. They have what appears to be a pretty solid team on paper but have made what many fans have deemed as “mistakes” when it comes to their import cards. Plus, the back-office disarray and behind the scenes squabbles continue to plague this organization.
For success, the Royals are going to have to keep their imports on the ice, not in the penalty box. Even the die-hard fans of this organization are talking about how their imports are spending more time off the ice than on. It just isn’t working.
While the Wings do have what it takes to turn it around, the verdict is still out on the Royals. One thing is for sure, both teams had better come with their heads in the game or they will be watching the games from the sidelines!
Darren Colbourne has been a hockey player nearly all his life. He’s dedicated many hours to the game we all love and watching him play throughout his career in the West Coast Senior Hockey League was a treat.
Last season Darren’s career seemed to be all but over as he left the Corner Brook Royals and hung up his skates – marking the end to a very colorful and successful career as a hockey player.
A leader both on and office the ice, Darren gave it his all and his passion for the game showed through. Unfortunately, in his last year as a Corner Brook Royal, the organization tossed him into a role that was not fitting for the leader that Darren Colbourne is.
Today I had a brief opportunity to chat with Darren while he was sitting at lunch with his son. I’ve known Darren for some time and it’s always a pleasure to talk with him and to hear the passion for the game come out in his voice.
I asked him about him signing with the Clarenville Caribous in their quest for the Allan Cup. I told him that I had heard rumblings through the rumor mill that he was taking to the ice again but wasn’t sure in what capacity. I told him that I thought I’d see him with another organization this year in the West Coast Senior Hockey League, prodding him for some information and laughing as we joked back and forth.
Darren’s response “I could never play against the Royals. They are in my blood and I could never go there!”
I asked him about what’s going on with the Corner Brook Royals this year. He smiled and said “We’ve chatted about this before. You know how I feel about it and there’s gotta be some changes. We all know that.”
Still, Darren was a professional! He never criticized his former organization and kept very positive. That’s what always made me admire Darren as a leader. He simply acknowledged my comments, smiled and laughed, especially when I told him I would be writing something for Newfoundland Hockey Talk.
We chatted for a bit about Newfoundland Hockey Talk and he congratulated me on its success. He said “It’s how I keep up on what’s going on in the league.” and knowing that he was a reader made me smile and wonder how many other players are on the site. He introduced me to his son (whom Darren coaches in Pee Wee) and I got to meet one the next rising stars in Newfoundland Hockey.
We talked about the announcement of his signing with the Clarenville Caribous and the Allan Cup. I told him that this was the missing element from what I thought would be a very successful run at the Allan Cup and said “I hoped that the rumor was true and that the Bous were going to pick you up. You’ll fill the role of leader that was missing from the team!”
Darren smiled, thanked me and we chatted a bit more. I could see the fire in his eyes and hear the passion in his voice. He’s pumped to be a part of this Newfoundland contingent and is focused on preparing for the Allan Cup run. “I have 6 weeks to prepare,” he said, “It’s going to be a great ride and we have a great shot.”
With the grit from the Wings, the speed from the Caribous, the coaching expertise brought by Pearcey and the leadership brought by Darren Colbourne, look out Allan Cup.
Unfortunately, it was time for me to leave and I wished Darren all the best.
Darren Colbourne has the fire and passion back for hockey! It’s going to be a pleasure in the upcoming weeks!
In some very surprising developments in the West Coast Senior Hockey League, it appears that the Deer Lake Red Wings are headed the wrong way in the standings. Sitting just 3 points above Corner Brook Royals, the Deer Lake Red Wings are in danger of landing themselves in the basement, a place that many including Newfoundland Hockey Talk would have never thought this team would be in.
With the experience and depth that the Deer Lake Red Wings has in their lineup, one has to ask what has gone on this season to have the Wings in this spot?
It’s not that the Deer Lake Wings are playing terrible hockey. A few of their losses came while playing short benched, but there’s no denying that there has been some definite improvement throughout the league, especially from the Grand Falls- Windsor Cataracts who are sitting in first place at the moment.
With the playoffs looming just around the corner, the Deer Lake Red Wings had better right the ship. The next few series will be definitely interesting as teams jockey for position in the playoffs.
The Corner Brook Royals are now under “new” management, a move that has many fans shaking their heads and asking why? The trouble with the Corner Brook Royals have been around for a few years and the changes that the organization has made doesn’t go far enough to address what has to be done to right this sinking ship.
The Corner Brook Royals have a long history of success in hockey. The people who ran the organization had a passion for hockey and wanted to win at all costs. This doesn’t seem to be the case these last few years.
The downfall of the Corner Brook Royals started when Ed Kearsey, one of the best hockey minds on the West Coast stopped coaching the team. There has been many people who speculated as to why Kearsey and the Royals parted ways – some say there were troubles in the dressing room with “star” players and others say it had to do with management direction.
What has the Royals accomplished since Kearsey left? Not a great deal. They’ve been pretty much bottom dwellers in the four team league we have all grown to love (and sometimes hate).
People also thought that the departure of Dick Cashin from the team would make things easier and now they could get on with “winning” and playing hockey. Dick was one of the many reasons the Royals were successful. Regardless of what you may think of this individual, he had the heart, passion and nose for hockey. He could sniff out a great player and his knowledge of the game brought many fans hours of entertainment.
Let’s fast forward to now. What do we have? A team that is now backed by “new” management and many are questioning if this is the right move. Sure, the Corner Brook Royals need a shake-up, but they also need a leader on and off the ice.
It’s the opinion of Newfoundland Hockey Talk that these changes will do nothing to improve the Royals chances of succeeding. They looked brilliant in the first few weeks of the season but now they look like a team that lacks the heart and soul to do anything.
The players deserve better! The fans deserve better! The Corner Brook Royals deserve better!
The West Coast Senior Hockey League is heading into its last series before Christmas. One has to sit back and take stock as to what has transpired thus far in the league.
With the Cataracts sitting at the top of the standings, one must say they are impressed with their performance and how management stuck to its guns, building this team to what it is.
The Caribous are showing that they are still playing hard and still have their winning ways. It will be interesting to see what happens down the stretch.
In the basement we have the Deer Lake Red Wings and Corner Brook Royals. These two teams still battle one another hard each series and still show signs of greatness every now and then. However, one can’t help but notice that the curtain is probably falling on the Deer Lake Red Wings as they struggle to stay competitive. They are not the team of the last few years.
The Royals are still in a rebuilding phase and they have potential to do great if they start playing more cohesively as they were at the beginning of the season. Santa may be asked to bring a new goaltender and a new defenseman to help the Royals in the new year.
Everyone knows the real season in the WCSHL starts in January. It will be interesting to see what 2010 brings for this colorful league.
It’s only early in the West Coast Senior Hockey League season, but one can’t help and think that maybe this year, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts will be the 2009-2009 West Coast Senior Hockey Champs.
This was the team that many fans criticized the last few seasons but the Cats executive held true to their commitment to build a strong team that would become a contender. Fans this year can cheer loudly as this years roster is a dominant force.
However, is the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts great start to the season a real surprise? Here at Newfoundland Hockey Talk, we don’t think so. If you look at this team, it was by far one of the most impressive teams last season given their situation.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. The Cats were a great team last year.
In 2008-2009, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts were just 5-points behind the Clarenville Caribous and finished in third in the league. That’s impressive for a team that struggled offensively and lacked a big name player to help this young team in their rebuilding.
The management and executive of the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts knew they were on the right track with this team and this year stepped it up a notch and signed some big names that brought experience and offensive power. It is paying off for them as they are now starting to gel in this young season.
The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts have one of the most impressive teams on paper and that is starting to translate into performance on the ice.
Yes, the Cataracts appear to be for real and this 2009-2001 West Coast Senior Hockey League may just see new champs at the end of the season.
Some things never surprise people but this is one of the biggest surprises. No one would ever have thought that the Clarenville Caribous would have signed former Corner Brook Royal, Richard Paul.
With all the bad blood that existed between the Caribous and the Royals after several bench clearing brawls, it was evident that the number one player admid all the controversy was RIchard Paul. In fact, he served a six-game suspension for his antics during the playoffs in 2007-2008 playoffs when Paul just lost all his senses and challenged the entire Caribous team to a fight.
Yet, the Clarenville Caribous needed some toughness and after the Corner Brook Royals and Richard Paul parted ways, it was rumoured that the tough guy was shopping himself around to other teams. The Corner Brook Royals didn’t want him back, the Deer Lake Red Wings have tough guys Darren Langdon and Guy Langdon, the Cataracts have Manson but the Bous were a tad bit short in the toughness section. Along comes Richard Paul and voila – he’s now wearing a Clarenville Caribous Jersey.
What will this add to the team?
One can only imagine some of the conversations that have taken place in the dressing room and behind closed doors in this organization. The Clarenville Caribous are in Newfoundland Hockey Talk’s opinion a desparate team looking to protect some of their key players. However, adding a dynamic like Richard Paul may only upset the team more.
The key to this whole move is Randy Pearcey. Can he control Paul? He definitely has to lay down the law to this player and keep him under control otherwise the Caribous are in trouble.
It’s still early in the West Coast Senior League hockey season, but fans of the Corner Brook Royals should be smiling after a weekend of great hockey. The Royals downed the Caribous in a weekend series and also defeated the Deer Lake Red Wings to extend their winning streak to 4 games.
What’s impressive is the play of Morgan Warren, who had a stellar performance throughout the weekend and in one game, scored 6-goals.
Yes, the Corner Brook Royals, a team that many people had counted out this year have started the year off with a bang – a very big bang. Newfoundland Hockey Talk had picked the Royals to finish in the basement of the league once again. However after the play this weekend, it looks like this season is shaping up to be a very interesting one indeed. The Royals have shown they can play and play hard. They are a much improved team and look to have new life in this early season.
Some will argue that the Caribous were short their star goalie – Jason Churchill, but one can’t argue that the Royals did outplay the Caribous. Rumours abound on the Newfoundland Hockey Talk Discussion Forum about Churchill being gone for the year but sources say that this is only rumour. Churchill was called away last minute for work commitments and that he will return next weekend.
With play resuming next weekend, it will be interesting to see how things shake out in this early season.
With week one of the WCSHL in the books, one must look at the games and see if there were any surprises.
Looking at the Cataracts and the Royals, this was a very entertaining series. The Royals looked like a completely different team, finishing their checks, skating and playing a pretty good game defensively. Their loss in the shoot-out was a let down for the fans in attendance, but they should be pleased overall as their team bounced back the next night to take a decisive victory.
The bright spot for the Royals should be young Scott Doody. This guy is going to be the future of the organization!
The Cataracts on the otherhand, they were quite impressive. With their line-up filled with lots of new talent, it was obvious that this team is going to be a major contender this year if the players gel. There was no doubt that this team has improved on paper, and there were obvious flashes of this improvement during their opener against the Royals.
The Deer Lake Red Wings however started the season off on a very bad foot. Sources have told Newfoundland Hockey Talk that the Wings looked old and tired – not the same team that they have seen the last few seasons. With some of the players who have left this year, one must wonder if the Wings still have what it takes to be competitive in the league.
Sure, it’s only one series, and the Wings are famous for bouncing back and showing their true grit that has made them perennial successes in the league, but the fact is, one must wonder if they do have what it takes to compete in this changed league. The younger legs and talent pool on the other teams have improved dramatically and the Wings seem to have not kept pace.
What about the Caribous? They started the season with a bang, with two big wins against the Wings. They started off right where they left off last season, showing why they are the defending league and Herder Memorial champs.
Newfoundland Hockey Talk wasn’t sure if they could continue their winning ways this season but they have come out of the gates firing on all cylinders and look like major contenders once again.
The season is just starting! Stay tuned!