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CeeBees play their first ECSHL game tonight

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They debut at Jack Byrne Arena against Eagles; team's home-opener is Sunday, also against Northeast

The Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars make their East Coast Senior Hockey League debut tonight in Torbay when they take on the Northeast Eagles 8 p.m. at Jack Byrne Arena.

The CeeBees had been a late, and contentious, addition to the ECSHL roster. In September, they had applied to join the league, but were turned down. However, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador later ruled that unless the CeeBees became part of the ECSHL, the league faced the possibility of being unsanctioned by HNL and Hockey Canada. The ruling was appealed to national governing body and was upheld, leading to negotiations that resulted in the CeeBees becoming the league’s sixth member.

They are kind of a new/old addition. Until 2017, the CeeBees had been part of the Avalon East senior circuit along with Northeast, the St. John’s Caps, Southern Shore Breakers and Conception Bay Blues. But when the other four withdrew from the AESHL, effectively sinking that league, then reformed as the ECSHL, they left the CeeBees on the sidelines, meaning there had been no senior hockey played out of the Danny Cleary Community Centre for the last two years.

That will happen Sunday evening (6 p.m.) when the CeeBees and Eagles tangle in Harbour Grace in the back end of a home-and-home series.

There is one other ECSHL game on the schedule tonight. That’s 7:30 p.m. at Twin Rinks, where the Caps (0-1-1) and  Blues (0-1-0) will be looking for their first wins.

On Saturday, the defending champion Southern Shore Puglisevich Breakers travel to the Eastlink Events Centre to take on the Clarenville Ford Caribous (7:30 p.m. start). Those teams will have a rematch 7 p.m. Sunday at the Ken Williams Southern Shore Arena.

sports@thetelegram.com

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