CLARENVILLE, N.L. — The Clarenville Ford Caribous notched another win Sunday afternoon in game two of the Herder Memorial Championship against the St. John’s Greensleeves Caps — going up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Like game one on Saturday, the visiting Caps opened the scoring in the first period. Cody Squires scored with about seven minutes left in the frame, assisted by Jacob Pitcher and Patrick Power.
Before the end of the period, the ‘Bous leveled the game 1-1, when Keith Delaney tallied, assisted by Justin Pender and Kevin Reid.
Beginning the second on the power play due to the Caps taking an elbowing penalty at the end of the first, the Caribous made good on the man advantage. The go-ahead goal was scored by Brandon Roach, assisted by Chad Earle and Justin Pender.
About midway through the second, Caribou Ryan Desrosiers was given a game misconduct after boarding Jeremy Nicholas.
Nicholas remained down on the ice for a few minutes, but skated off on his own steam.
Despite pressing throughout, the Caps were unable to score on the ensuing five-minute power play, when Cap Jeremy Barron was given a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.
At the end of the second, with the score 2-1, the Caribous added to their lead when Keith Delaney roofed his second goal of the game, from Ryan Delaney and Mason Reid.
In the opening minute of the third, Clarenville forward Chad Earle fooled St. John’s goalie Kyle Downer with a wrister that found the top corner, making the score 4-1.
The Caps answered about 10 minutes later as Ryan Power scored with a slapshot that he carried over the blueline, eluding Clarenville netminder Tyler Whiffen.
But from there, the Caribous put the game away on a point shot from Justin Pender for a final score of 5-2.
As time expired on the game, frustrations prevailed as players from both sides were pushing and shoving one another near the Caps’ bench.
The ‘Bous outshot the Caps 39-21 in the contest.
Game three is set for this Friday night at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay.
Coach Russell says two home wins ‘crucial’
Caribous head coach Rebecca Russell told The Packet after game two, going up 2-0 at home is crucial going into the next three on the road.
“We’ve done a lot of good things and a lot of things we need to continue to work on,” said Russell.
She says, while she doesn’t think they played at their best in game one on Saturday, they managed to get the win.
“It’s ups-and-downs but we still managed to put together two wins and we can’t complain about that.”
Russell added the Caps are a skilled hockey team with a good coaching staff that came at them with tough and tenacious play and they expect more of the same in game three on Friday.
Coach Bray: ‘Dirty hit’ leads to injuries for Caps
While Caps head coach Wally Bray told The Packet his team battled with the Caribous over the first two games of the series, two major injuries will hurt them and their chances.
Two strengthening pickups Jeremy Nicholas and Brandon Pye were injured on two separate hits in the game. Bray says Pye has a separated shoulder and Nicholas has a concussion and injured rotator cuff — putting them out of the lineup indefinitely.
Bray was quick to add the hit that injured Nicholas was a “dirty hit from behind” by Ryan Desrosiers — who received a game misconduct on the play.
“They were two strong pickups for us, it’s going to affect the team,” said Bray.
He says, in game three, they’re hoping to “come back, battle every shift, play 60 minutes hard and fight as hard as you can.”
When asked what he thinks their chances are in the remainder of the series, Bray says “we’re going to try our best.”