This weekend, to wrap up the 2022-2023 AESHL Regular Season, 4 games including 5 clubs will be showcased across Eastern Newfoundland.
The weekend kicks off tomorrow night as the 6th-place Outer Cove Marines face off against a very possible playoff opponent. This matchup, originally scheduled for January 20th, was postponed due to the weather. The Marines will be expecting the long-awaited return of rookie sensation Josh Langmead this Friday, having been on leave for the past 2 weeks. In their last 3 meetings against the Stars, it’s been the latter who has come out victorious. The historical club will be walking into the matchup posting a 10-8-0 win record, with impressive 6-2, 3-2, and 4-2 victories over the Marines in the last 4 months. Although a 10-point stance in the league’s standings hangs on the possibility of tomorrow night’s victory over the Stars, the currently 8-point Marines will also be facing the challenge to deny the 22-point CeeBee Stars a chance of clinching the 3rd place seed in this year's Hunt For the Herder playoffs. Puck drop for tomorrow night’s contest in Torbay goes at 7:25 PM.
Harbour Grace will complete their 29th season of NL Senior Hockey competition Saturday night when they return home to host the St. John’s Caps. The visiting club currently sits at a 14-5-0 win record, pushing them into 2nd place. Through their last 3 meetings with the Stars, it's also been the visiting Capitals who have faired better, taking 5-4 and 8-6 victories. Their only loss came in the November 18th meeting where they fell 4-1. With the hope of getting their 3rd win over the home team, the Caps will be looking to start goalie Kyle Downer for the first time since December 17th. The recovered netminder, who has been out for the past 8 contests due to injury, will be making just his 12th appearance this season. With all eyes on the star netminder, it's worth noting that on the other side of things, should Harbour Grace fail to capitalize on a chance to clinch 3rd place this Friday in Torbay, their bout with St. John’s will present a last-minute opportunity to do so. It’s up to Downer and the Capitals to shut down that opportunity, should it arise, when puck drop hits the Danny Cleary Community Center at 7:30 PM.
The 54th AESHL regular season will conclude in Clarenville with a series of contests, as the CB Blues hit the road to take on the Caribous at 7:30 PM Saturday night and then 3:30 PM the following afternoon. The Caribous recently traveled to CBS on the 27th of January, posting an impressive 7-3 take-home victory. With both clubs sitting at 19 points in the standings, aside from the Stars 2 contents, this weekend's series is undoubtedly the most important deciding factor for this year's playoffs. The Blues will be walking into the weekend, backed by forwards Brandon Bussey, Kris Hodge, Defenceman Lee Dower, and this week’s AESHL Player Of The Week; Kyle Tibbo. Coming off a weekend sweep over the Marines, the Caribous will combat the Blues lineup with the likes of star forwards Liam Leonard, Kevin Reid, Cody Donaghey, and Chad Earle, skilled defenceman Justin Pender, and legendary goaltender AJ Whiffen. With the Herder Playoff’s bracket hanging in the balance of this weekend’s series in Clarenville, both are games not to be missed!