Boston Bruins Michael Ryder has reached the pinnacle of what many hockey players dream about. He can now call himself a Stanley Cup champion and take his place in the history books.
The Bonavista native became the second Newfoundlander to raise the Stanley Cup after the Bruins stunned the hockey world and defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in game seven.
Many people had written the Bruins off after Vancouver jumped out to a 2-0 series league but the Beantown heroes battled back at home to even the series at 2 games a piece. The teams traded home wins again, setting the stage for game 7 in Vancouver and there were those who thought the Bruins could go all the way, especially the fans in Ryder’s hometown.
In dramatic fashion, the Bruins did the unthinkable, upsetting the number one seed in the playoffs and put the game away with a decisive 4-0 victory.
It was unlike anything Ryder had ever experienced and he had described it as being “Almost like a dream.”
Ryder played a key role throughout the playoffs, contributing goals and points when needed as the Bruins continued through team after team in post-season.
The Stanley Cup will be making another trip to Newfoundland sometime this summer and Bonavista is sure to celebrate!
It’s unprecedented times here in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are many hockey players from the province that dream of one day raising the cup but in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs there will be at least one Newfoundlander who will get that opportunity.
In 2008, Dan Cleary became the first Newfoundlander to have his name engraved on the cup and to bring Lord Stanley’s trophy to the island. Unfortunately, Cleary and his Wings were eliminated in a nail biter last night when eliminated by the San Jose Sharks but that’s not the end of Newfoundlander’s fighting for the cup.
San Jose has Ryan Clowe in the lineup and he has proven to be a force in the playoffs. The Sharks’ leading scorer in the playoffs is well positioned with only 4 teams remaining.
We can’t forget Michael Ryder of the Bruins. He’s once again caught up in the thick of things as the Bruins will now square off against Tampa Bay and another Newfoundlander in Teddy Purcell in what’s looking to be a great series.
The Vancouver Canucks also have a Newfoundland connection but not on the ice. Darrell Williams is their video coach and he hails from St. John’s. Playing a pivotal role in the organization, Williams has the opportunity of a lifetime as the Presidents Cup winning Canucks continues its quest to Lord Stanley!
Exciting times for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Who do you have picked as the favourite?
The West Coast Senior Hockey League finals is about to start with the third place Deer Lake Red Wings facing the regular season champions, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
Fans are in for a treat as we have the Wings, experienced and seasoned, looking to regain the elusive championship and the Cataracts, full of youth and looking to establish themselves as the best in the league.
With seasoned veterans such as Mark Robinson, Chris Peach and Darren Langdon, the Wings definitely have the experience edge. These players have all been there before, know how to win and have the heart to step up during the big game. The Cats have youth on their side, with the best 1-2 punch in goaltending with Yetman and Jewer.
The Cataracts pretty much owned the Wings throughout the regular season. However, this isn’t the regular season.
The Wings knocked off the defending champions in the Clarenville Caribous, taking the series in 6 games. The Bous play a similar style of hockey as the Cataracts and this may give Deer Lake a slight edge. Their game plan will be very similar and this may prove a major advantage in this series.
The Cats on come off a relatively easy series win over the Corner Brook Royals. Solid goaltending and a never-say-quit attitude showed what this team is capable off. Even while being down and all but out late in a few games, the Cataracts just kept coming and pulled off big wins.
While the outcome is yet to be determined, what is known, hockey fans are in for a treat.
The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts have taken first place in the West Coast Senior Hockey League.
After battling the Clarenville Caribous all seasons for top spot, the Cats took a single point on Saturday, February 5 to clinch the first place position and waited for the results from the Corner Brook Royals and Deer Lake Red Wings to see who their opponents would be in the first round of the playoffs.
That f ate was decided on Sunday when the Deer Lake Red Wings picked up a 5-4 shoot-out win over the Royals after dropping 8-1 to the Royals on Saturday night.
The Wings shoot-out win means the Cataracts will face Corner Brook in round one of the playoffs.
St. John’s native Donnie Gosse has been one of the premier defensive players in Newfoundland senior hockey for the last ten years. He’s shown what it takes to compete at the highest level here in Newfoundland but there’s many fans wondering if Gosse still can compete.
Gosse has crossed into the West Coast Senior Hockey league this season after his previous team – the Southern Shore Breakers – dropped out of the East league. After signing with the Royals, there were many with high expectations that his addition to the red, white and blue would give the Royals and edge on the blue line and perhaps be enough to push the Royals back to the top of their game.
Fans in Corner Brook are familiar with Gosse who quickly garnished the nickname “Turtle” for his on ice antics and antagonistic ways that saw him covering up if the threat of a fight arrived.
However, this is a new league, with new rules and even though Gosse came out of the gate with a bit of rust, he has showed he can still rise to the occasion and compete. He still has the soft hands, great passing skills and can skate with the best of him. He’s both an offensive threat leading the charge and can rush back to cover up defensively.
Critics may think that Gosse is overrated and not worth what the Royals are alleged to be paying this player. However, any coach and the majority of the true hockey fans recognize what an asset he is to any team.
The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts are in a unique situation. With their signing of their new goalie Mark Yetman and the return of last years #1 goalie, Doug Jewer, the Cats have two solid goalies ready to tackle whatever the other teams throw their way.
This was quite evident recently when the Cataracts made the trip down the Trans Canada Highway to Corner Brook and squared off against the Corner Brook Royals in a two game series.
Yetman started the opener and looked stellar, making several amazing saves while facing shot after shot from the Royals. It was evident from the fans the Cats goalie stole the game and was the difference at the end of the day, picking up a “W” with a 5-4 win over the Royals.
In Sunday’s game, Jewer wasn’t going to be outdone by Yetman’s strong performance after returning from having surgery in the off-season.
While he didn’t face as many shots and was not tested as much as Yetman, Jewer came up with a solid 2-0 shutout win.
Some are questioning how the team is going to deal with these two goalies. There are many who feel there is only enough room on the team for one of these players and friction is bound to develop. Some feel the friction is good and these goalies can feed off one another, forcing each to perform at the top of their game when they are called upon to play.
Yet sources have indicated to Newfoundland Hockey Talk that Jewer is not happy with the signing of Yetman and has made it clear to the Cats’ executive he wants the starting position.
The Cataracts have built a solid organization and dealing with issues off the ice is one of their strengths. Newfoundland Hockey Talk is very confident the Cataracts can accommodate both goalies and offer them enough duty to satisfy them especially with the playoffs just around the corner and the Herder Championship clearly in the Cats’ sight this season.
The question on everyone’s mind this morning is simple. Is the Corner Brook Royals leaving the city to play elsewhere? Royals President Ross Coates has indicated fan attendance is not what he wants and has made it clear the hockey fans in Corner Brook has to make a decision about the future of hockey in the city.
In an unprecedented move, both the Corner Brook Royals and the Deer Lake Red Wings put an end to the CFCB radio broadcasts in an attempt to put more bums in the seats at both the Pepsi Centre and the Hodder Memorial Arena. What is even more drastic is the rumour floating around that should the attendance be poor for the Royals latest home games, the team would finish the season at other arenas – namely Stephenville and Gander.
Sources close to Royals President have indicated the Royals will be heading to Stephenville for their series against the Clarenville Caribous the weekend January 15-16.
Fan support has been anything but stellar this season as the Corner Brook Royals rebuild their team. Fans are growing impatient with many of the highly praised talent such as Morgan Warren and Mark Tobin to begin producing and are calling on the team’s executive to either send these players packing or bench them.
Ross Coates understands the frustrations that fans are feeling. In a recent interview on CBC Radio, Coates has indicated he is not pleased with the teams performance.
Newfoundland Hockey Talk has to give credit, Mr. Coates and his organization has provided every opportunity to put a winning team on the ice. They have attracted key players such as Donnie Gosse and the highly touted Mark Tobin, hoping this players could spark the likes of Morgan Warren, Scott Doody and Andrew White into having banner seasons. On paper, the team has a defensive squad second to none. Up front, they have as much fire power as anyone in the league.
Hockey isn’t played on paper. It’s played on the ice. This edition of the Corner Brook Royals has not met expectations of Coates or his executive team. It has also not lived up to the expectations of the fans. Right now, the Corner Brook Royals are sitting in the basement and losing both fan and community support after dropping their latest series at home against the Cataracts and stopping the radio broadcasts.
Sources have indicated “there will be definite lineup changes next weekend” and with the deadline looming for protecting players, it will be interesting to see what the Corner Brook Royals does with some of its underachievers.
One thing is clear. After this weekend with only a little over 1000 fans on Saturday and 500 fans on Sunday, there is no way the Corner Brook Royals can continue to bleed money. It doesn’t make business sense and moving the team to a smaller, more fan friendly venue is definitely an understandable business move.
With Coates and his group working diligently behind the scenes to ice a quality product, to see the lack of fan support is terrible. Corner Brook has a long standing history of supporting winners and being finicky about the events they attend. Is it that hockey has just fallen out of favour with the community or is it something else? Coates and his team deserves credit for trying to keep hockey here in the city. They definitely deserve better support than they are getting and if it takes moving the team to have them survive then that’s what it takes!
Places such as Stephenville, Gander and Port Aux Basques are foaming at the opportunity to have a team and a businessman such as Mr. Coates bring hockey back to those areas.
Are the Royals headed out of Corner Brook? Stay tuned – things are always interesting around the West Coast Senior Hockey League.
For more discussions and insight as to what is going on check out the Newfoundland Hockey Talk Discussion Forum.
It’s not even the start of the 2010-11 WCSHL season and already there are many rumours about what’s going to happen in the upcoming hockey season.
The most major news/rumours are centred around the recent and ongoing audits being conducted by Revenue Canada. There are major implications for players and organizations this upcoming season which may lead to players seeking ice time elsewhere other than the WCSHL.
Newfoundland Hockey Talk has to wonder if the tax man is going to take some of the key players from the league this year. There’s definitely something happening behind the scenes.
Just a mere few weeks after the Newfoundland and Labrador big game licenses are issued, the Clarenville Caribous find themselves hunting, but this time it’s for a new head coach.
As previously stated here on Newfoundland Hockey Talk about Coach Pearcey leaving the Caribous organization, I guess the many Caribous fans, executive members and supporters who have denied these persistent rumours are now silenced. In a devastating blow to the Caribous organization, both Coach Pearcey and leading scorer Andrew Pearcey announced they are headed to Mount Pearl for the upcoming hockey season, leaving the team that has brought them back-to-back Herder Memorial Trophies.
Sources have indicated that differences arising after the Allan Cup in the spring. Coach Pearcey and star goalie Jason Churchill had words during the tournament, words that have contributed to this split. Differences in the dressing room between players have apparently also added to the rift that sees star player Andrew Pearcey leaving to follow his father to the AESHL.
Who will the Caribous appoint as their new head coach? Time will tell.
Hockey legend Bobby Orr will be visiting Corner Brook, NL teaming up with Chevrolet to host the Chevy Safe and Fun Hockey Festival from August 27 – 28, 2010.
The festivals are conducted for players 5-8 years of age and consist of on ice instruction, off ice sessions, team buildings activities and parent seminars. Each participant will receive a jersey, autograph items and the opportunity to hang out with Chevrolet Hockey Ambassador Bobby Orr!
You have a chance to win a spot as a participant in this Festival. All you need to do is complete the on-line form at www.chevrolethockey.ca to enter the contest. There are sixty (60) spots available to be won. Entry deadline is July 23, 2010.