Coach Tom Coolen said he came back for the memories and tonight’s Central West Senior Hockey League title wasn’t the last special moment he hopes to gain from his return to the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
“This is why I came back,” said Coolen tonight pointing to the crowd hanging around to watch the hometown Cats celebrate with the league championship trophy
Coolen won the Herder Memorial Trophy as a player with the Cataracts and now hopes to add another as a head coach.
His team appears ready to take on the Avalon East Senior Hockey League representatives for the storied senior hockey crown.
Coolen said he was a little surprised with the 9-2 final tonight against a Corner Brook Royals team that to this point in the series had played the two-time defending champions tough.
“It was just 2-1 after the first and then we exploded,” said Coolen.
Explosion is an accurate term to apply to the attack the Cataracts mounted tonight in the Game 5 victory.
“We have probably the best speed in the league and we really move the puck well from the back end,” he said of his team’s ability apply pressure.
Coolen’s team won’t get to practice together before they begin the best of five Herder final next week at home, but he doesn’t see that as an issue.
“We’re playing well and we’re healthy…we’ll be ok.”
Defenseman Rodi Short who had been suspended by the league after a hit in game 2 is also set to return to the lineup.
On the scoreboard
The first period play was dominated by Cats outshooting the Royals 19-9.
Andre Gill scored at 6:21 from Steve Yetman and Brandon Bussey to open the scoring for the Cats.
Greg Hoffe from Alex Dalley and Kyle McGuirk at 11:57 bumped the lead to 2-0
A late goal off a scramble gave the West Coast visitors some hope hope.
Scott Doody scored from Matthew Thomey and Ryan Watson.
The Cats widened lead their lead early in the second period when Danny Wicks scored at 4:55 from Cam Fergus and Steve Yetman on power play.
Bussey made it 4-1 at 8:32 from Yetman and Luke Gallant.
Yetman continued his scoring binge at 11:11 from Gill and Bussey making it 5-1.
And then the romp was truly on as the Cats scored three goals in less than two minutes.
Dalley scored from Nick Croft and Mike Sibley to get the splurge started at 14:58.
Wicks on assists from Brennen and Fergus at 15:36 and Dalley unassisted on a breakaway at 16:44 rounded out the second period scoring with the Cats holding an 8-1 lead.
The Cats widened the league yet again in the third when Bussey scored from Yetman and Gill at 13:41.
The Royals did score the last goal of the series with David Budgell scoring on assist by Thomey and Ryan Penney.