The “holy grail” of Newfoundland sports competition is up for grabs once again as we get set to kick off the 83rd annual competition for the Herder Memorial Trophy. Beginning tomorrow night at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in Deer Lake, this year’s Herder finals are set to mark the beginning of a new era of Newfoundland senior hockey, as for the first time in 15 years, a team based primarily on the west coast of the province meets a team based primarily on the east coast. The clubs; the Southern Shore Breakers (east) and Deer Lake Red Wings (west) will make history tomorrow night when they square off against each other for the very first time in this province’s senior hockey history.
This year’s competition will also mark the first time in 8 years that a west coast team will be on the bill, with the last being in 2015 when the Corner Brook Royals fell in 4 straight games to the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts. This season, as the Breakers and Red Wings walk into the series as both the regular season and playoff champions of their respective leagues, we’ll get a chance to see some of the most exciting competition in recent Herder history.
The iconic trophy, which dates back to its original donation in 1935, has a history of its own with both of this year’s competitors. The Breakers, who were first crowned Herder champions in 1995, have since been victorious in winning the trophy 5 times, including success in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004, and most recently in 2022. The Red Wings on the other hand, who are credited with an iconic 4-season straight run in the Herder finals (2005-2008) have been fortunate enough to take home the trophy twice; firstly in 2001, and then again in 2005.
Game 1 of this year’s series is set to kick off tomorrow, April 14th, at 7:30 PM in Deer Lake, with Game 2 coming the following night, April 15th, also in Deer Lake at 7:30 PM. The series will then head east for games 3, 4, and if needed, game 5. In the event that a Game 6 or 7 is required, the series will once again head back out west. Admission for the finals has been set to $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. For those unable to catch this weekend’s exciting action in Deer Lake in person, you can catch everything via a live stream provided by AO Live. For just $10 a game, you can view what’s sure to be a historical series without leaving your couch. So be sure not to miss any of the action this year as it is history in the making, and remember, it all happens during the Herder Playoffs!!