It was a three-point weekend for the Clarenville Caribous in their first home games of the regular season of the Senior Hockey League.
Arch rivals, the Conception Bay North Cee Bees, were in town Saturday and Sunday night and fans who attended the games got their money's worth in terms of entertainment and hockey action.
On Saturday night the Caribous defeated the Stars 6-4, but it wasn't an easy win.
The Cee Bees were first on the scoreboard with a powerplay goal by Ray Dalton at 9:05 in the first period. That lead held to the end of the period and the Caribous headed to the dressing room to rethink strategy.
The first period saw the teams with equal chances to score; shots on goal were six each.
The second period saw a little more action around the Cee Bees net as the Caribous ratcheted up their offensive play.
Dale Sullivan, assisted by Matt Bragg and Mike Stevens, tied it up at 3:59 in the second and Brad Crann, assisted by Mark Roebothan and Chris Hulit moved them ahead 2-1 with a goal at 9:16.
Hulit, assisted by David Victor and Mark Roebothan, pushed the Caribous to 3-1 with a point at 17:12 and with just over a minute left in the third Matt Bragg took a pass from Dale Sullivan to make it 4-1 in favour of the Caribous.
The Cee Bee Stars were not ready to call it a night yet, however. They kept pressing and were rewarded with just one second left in the period when Ray Dalton fired one past Jason Churchill to narrow the gap 4-2.
During the second period the Caribous made 17 attempts on the Cee Bees net, while the Stars had just 10 chances against the Caribous.
Six minutes into the third period the Cee Bees got another point against Churchill, to narrow the gap 4-3.
The Caribous were quick to reply.
Chris Hulit and Mike Stevens got control of the puck off the face-off and whipped it to Mark Roebothan who made it 5-3 for Clarenville.
With just a couple minutes left on the clock, the Caribous scored again to make it 6-4.
A few seconds after the face off the Cee Bees responded with a point.
With 17 seconds left on the clock the Cee Bees then decided to take the risk of pulling the goaltender in an effort to tie the game and force overtime.
However, the Caribous managed to clear the puck from their end and find the empty-net mark to win this battle 6-4.
Sunday's game started with a sense of déjà vu, when the Cee Bee Stars once again were first to light up the scoreboard.
Ryan Delaney grabbed a pass that came from the back of the net into the Caribous goal crease to score at 5:52. Fred Earle and Keith Delaney earned the assists on that play.
Just a couple of minutes later, at 7:14, the Cee Bees went ahead on a goal from Terry Ryan.
The Caribous managed to secure a point at 10:34 when Dale Sullivan beat Lavigne. He was assisted on the play by Chris Hulit and Andrew Sweetland.
The Sullivan, Hulit, Sweetland shift proved to be the Caribous' strongest advantage on the weekend. Otherwise the Bous seemed to struggle with offensive and were lacking in strong defense. For most of the first period they spent more time trying to get the puck cleared from their own end, as opposed to challenging the Cee Bees goalie.
At the end of the first period the Cee Bees had racked up 16 shots on Jason Churchill, while the Caribous managed just nine attempts on Stars goalie Charles Lavigne.
The second period was an exercise in futility, for the most part, by both teams. This time around it was the Caribous on the offensive, with 17 shots on net. The Cee Bees had just nine attempts on Churchill.
Of those attempts, just one shooter managed to find the mark. David Victor, assisted by Sullivan and Matt Bragg, scored with just a little over four minutes left in the period to tie it up.
At four minutes into the third the Caribous went ahead on a goal by Matt Bragg, assisted by Hulit and Sweetland.
It was evident in that moment that the intensity was getting to some. Cee Bees' netminder Lavinge showed his frustration by whacking his stick on the ice several times after the buzzer sounded.
Patience was also wearing thin on the ice by the middle of the third period. A little pushing match in front of the Caribous net saw David Victor of the Caribous and Dough O'Brien of the Cees Bees sent to the sin bin for slashing.
The battle continued on the ice, with several close-calls and near-misses from both sides.
Then, with 3:27 left in the period, Keith Delaney scored on a pass from O'Brien to tie it up once more.
With 1:13 left on the clock the Cee Bees scored once again to make it 4-3. Mike Thomas scored, assisted by Robert Slaney and Mike Dyke.
Just like the night before, when the Cee Bees pulled their goalie in the dying minutes, this time it was the Caribous' turn to employ the same strategy.
Right after the next face off, Churchill rushed to the bench and coach Ivan Hapgood added the extra man on the offense in an effort to tie the game.
Hapgood's strategy paid off.
With just 44 seconds remaining, Andrew Sweetland beat Lavigne to tie it up and force the game to a shootout.
The Cee Bees eventually earned the win, to make it a two-point weekend. The Caribous added three points to their regular season collection.
Following Sunday's game, coach Hapgood told the Packet, "It's never easy to win two games in a row when you're playing a game where the two teams are pretty even, so we got a three out of a possible four points.
"We have 7 out of 10 possible points so far, so we couldn't ask for any better than that right now," he said.
While there were some empty seats in the stadium on the weekend, Hapgood says he was pleased with the turnout for the games.
"There's always something on the go (and) this weekend there was the volleyfest out in town and a lot of people travelling with their kids for minor hockey and whatnot (but) the attendance was really good and the support was really good."
This weekend the Caribous are on the road, back to Deer Lake to meet the Deer Lake Royals for the second time this season.
Games are Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in Deer Lake.