Eagles host Breakers in Game 7: Winner advances to championship series vs. CeeBees
(Feb. 9, 2017) — A back-and-forth Avalon East Senior Hockey League semifinal between the Tapper’s Northeast Eagles and Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers comes to a head Friday night when the teams hit the ice in a series-clinching Game 7.
Through the first six games of the best-of-seven series, both clubs have made good on home ice, each collecting three wins in their own barns, including a 7-1 drubbing by the Eagles in Torbay last Friday which was followed by a dramatic 3-2 double-overtime win this past Sunday.
Despite the trend of home ice success to date, neither Breakers’ coach Scott Gordon nor Eagles bench boss Doug Jackman seem to be putting much stock in location having an impact on the crucial game.
“I think at this stage … the novelty of the playoffs has faded and the reality of what the playoffs mean to the team, the players and the organizations involved will bring more composure and consistency to our team,” says Gordon. “They learned a hard lesson last Friday evening in Torbay. The venue at this point shouldn't really matter if we focus to play 60 minutes.”
Says Jackman, “In a one-game winner-take-all, I'm not sure how much of a factor it will be, I guess the way this particular series has gone I'm glad its in our rink but there are much bigger factors in my opinion that will have a greater impact on the game.
“I think discipline, execution, and compete level will be factors both teams will be stressing.”
Not surprisingly, Mark Yetman will start between the pipes for the Eagles. As for the Breakers, Gordon has his choice of three netminders, each of whom performed well in the regular season.
“Devin O'Brien brought a wealth of experience, but his work schedule impedes his ability right now to practice regularly. Mark Power’s size conditioning and athletic ability is second to no one and perhaps he is the most underrated goalie in the league and coming off the bench at the Southern Shore Arena down two goals and winning the game kept us in the series,” Gordon says of the puckstop who came on in relief and stopped all 40 shots over 46 minutes in a come-from-behind Game 2 win.
“However with the last win in double overtime to tie the series with an outstanding game Ben Goss will get the nod at Jack Byrne in game 7.”
The winner moves on to take on the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars in the league’s championship series. Dates for the best-of-seven final are still being confirmed and will be finalized following Friday’s contest.