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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Dec. 10, 2016) -- A pair of streaks came to an end in Avalon East Senior Hockey League play Saturday night. The St. John's Green Sleeves Caps (5-7-2, 12 pts) put an end to a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Hickman Chrysler Bell Island Blues (4-11-0, 8 pts) while the Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers's (10-5-0, 20 pts) saw their seven-game winning streak end in a 5-3 loss to the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars (12-2-1, 25 pts). At the Conception Bay South Arena in Kelligrews, the Caps' Joe Trenholm scored the winner early in the third and Jon Caul also scored. Mike Ryan counted for the Blues, who are winless in their past nine outings. Scott Bray collected the win in net, stopping 23 shots. Matt Jenkins saw 45 in the Blues' cage. At the Danny Cleary Community Centre in Harbour Grace, Lucas Goobie scored twice for the CeeBees, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit for the win. Brett Shute, Stephen Greeley and Bradley Budden also tallied while Kenny King and Sam Roberts had two helpers apiece. A.J. Whiffen made 27 saves for his league-best 12th victory of the year with the Shore's Devin O'Brien facing 34 shots at the other end of the ice. On Sunday, the Tapper's Northeast Eagles (5-6-2, 12 pts) hit the ice at the Southern Shore Arena in Mobile to take on the Breakers. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Kenn Oliver Director of PR & Communications, AESHL 709.770.4117
(Dec. 9, 2016) -- Mark Yetman stopped all 52 shots faced to lead the Tapper'a Northeast Eagles over the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars 2-0 in Avalon East Senior Hockey League play Friday night. At the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay, Bryan Clarke broke a scoreless tie early in the third and Steve Yetman added an insurance marker for the Eagles (5-6-2, 12 pts). A.J. Whiffen saw 36 shots in net for the CeeBees (11-2-1, 23 pts). On Saturday, the Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers (10-4-0, 20 pts) head to Harbour Grace to take on the CeeBees at the Danny Cleary Community Centre at 7:15 p.m. In Kelligrews, the Hickman Chrysler Bell Island Blues (4-10-0, 8 pts) host the St. John's Green Sleeves Caps (4-7-2, 10 pts) at the Conception Bay South Stadium. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
(Dec. 8, 2016) -- At this time last season, the defending Avalon East Senior Hockey League champion St. John's Green Sleeves Caps we're sitting comfortably in second place, sporting a respectable 10-4 record. But due a confluence of factors over the past three weekends, this year's version of coach Wally Bray's Caps are struggling to put wins on the board as they ride a five-game losing streak that has dropped the gritty club from second to fourth in the five-team circuit's standings. "It's not a matter of competing," insists Bray, who points to wins over the Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers, Tapper's Northeast Eagles, and Hickman Chrysler Bell Island Blues among the team's four victories to date. "And we've taken the (Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises) CeeBee Stars to overtime and lost, and we've taken them to a shootout and lost. So we have no problem playing with everybody with a full lineup. My problem over the last three weeks is bodies." The player shortfall started in Mobile almost three weeks ago when the Caps lost left-winger Justin O'Reilly to a knee and leg injury that put the left-winger out for the remainder of the season. In the games since, steady defenceman Roger Pender has been sidelined by a groin injury, captain Mike Druken was suspended for two games, and key players such as Jeremy Barron, Riley Edwards, Jonny Caul, Robert Barrett, Jacob Pitcher and Jason Michaud have been forced to miss games for work- or school-related reasons. "Barrett, O'Reilly and Barron are my top line, so that's two-thirds of my top line gone," laments Bray. "Then you take Caul off the line with (Steve) Bailey and (Cody) Squires, there's another big piece of the puzzle gone." The bulk of those players also represent the Caps' main line of defence on the penalty kill, which is suffering at a league-worst 62 per cent following the last two games during which the Caps have surrendered six power-play markers. "Whenever we get a penalty, I say, 'O'Reilly, Pitcher go,' and they'll kill the first minute of that penalty and come in and get a 30 second rest and I might say 'Fewer and Squires go', and then Pitcher and O'Reilly go back," Bray says of his specialty teams forward pairings. "When you're missing those types of players, it's hard to win hockey games." Bray also feels his team has an unwarranted reputation that affects how some officials who regularly work AESHL games are calling the game. "I'm not crying wolf here. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. We won four out of five championships with the way things are." His issues with officiating and the trouble of icing a static lineup aside, Bray insists there have been some bright spots, particularly the play of Mark Rideout -- "He's been on fire lately," the coach says -- and the return of Brad Slaney to the lineup. There's also the onerous workload of goaltenders Scott Bray and Kyle Downer. "I think our goaltenders are keeping us in the game and I think other teams know that. You might get three or four or five on the Caps, but you're going to need your share of power plays and shots to get them." Moreover, there's still confidence in the locker room and awareness that things will improve as more bodies return. "In their minds, they're saying, 'just wait until we get everybody back.'" The Caps will look to stomp the breaks on their losing skid with a home-and-home set against the Blues starting Saturday night, 7:15 p.m., at the Conception Bay South Arena in Kelligrews. As for Bray's lineup in the opener, in addition to O'Reilly, Pender and Edwards, he'll also be without Pitcher and Brandon Fewer, both of whom will be serving one-game suspensions for their part in the fracas in the latter stages of this past Monday night's prickly affair against the CeeBees. "Without a doubt, this weekend is big. We have to at least get a split but we'd love to come out of it with four points," says Bray, who figures his lineup will begin to stabilize next weekend and into the new year. "If we can stay in the hunt and pick up two or four points this weekend, we're in a playoff position and I'd have no problem facing the CeeBees in the first round." The Caps and Blues meet again Monday night, 8:30, at the Goulds Sports Arena. In other games this weekend, the Eagles and CeeBees play 8 o'clock Friday night at the Jack Byrne Arena; the CeeBees welcome the Breakers to the Danny Cleary Community Centre for a 7:30 game on Saturday night; and the Eagles take on the Breakers at the Southern Shore Arena Sunday at 7 p.m.
(Dec. 5, 2016) -- Cody Batten supplied a hat trick to lead the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars over the St. Green Sleeves Caps 5-2 in a testy Avalon East Senior Hockey League game Monday night. At the Goulds Sports Arena, the teams piled up 253 minutes in penalties -- 132 to the Ceebees (11-1-1, 23 pts) and 121 for the Caps (4-7-2, 10 pts) -- on a combined 20 infractions aside. Just 16 minutes in minor penalties were called before the 7:14 mark of the third, after which seven players were shown the gate. Lucas Goobie and Brett Shute also dented twine for the CeeBees, the latter into an empty net. Matthew Thomey had three helpers, and Sam Roberts and Robert Slaney had two assists. Jon Caul and Jacob Pitcher countered for the Caps. A.J. Whiffen stopped 34 of 36 for the win while Kyle Downer saw 49 shots in the St. John's net. The CeeBees' fourth straight win dealt the Caps a fifth consecutive defeat.
(Dec. 4, 2016) -- Jeremy Nicholas scored four times and Ray Dalton recorded a second straight three-goal performance as the Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers (10-5-0, 20 pts) routed the Hickman Chrysler Bell Island Blues (4-10-0, 8 pts) 8-3 in Avalon East Senior Hockey League play on Sunday night. At the Southern Shore Arena in Mobile, Dalton's hat trick was a natural, with all three coming in the final 10 minutes of the contest. Nicholas also went the natural route, scoring two in the first period and two more in the second, his fourth coming on the man-advantage. Stephen Oates opened the scoring and added a helper and Andrew Marshall picked up three assists. Mark Power made 31 saves for the win while Matt Jenkins was peppered with 49 in the Blues' crease. Ian Skinner tallied twice in a losing cause and Brandon Street had the spare. Tonight, the HGOE CeeBee Stars (10-1-1, 21 pts) head to Goulds Sports Arena to take on the St. John's Green Sleeves Caps (4-6-2, 10 pts). Game time is 8:30 p.m.