The 2017-18 CWSHL season kicked off over the weekend with the Gander Flyers sweeping a pair of games from the visiting Clarenville Caribous in the Airport Town.
At the Steele Community Centre, St. John’s native Brad Power, who played the past two seasons with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American junior league, scored the game-winner in Sunday’s 6-5 Flyers win.
Brandon Hynes scored twice for the winners, with singles also coming from Mitch Oake, Jordan Escott and Scott Doody. Brandon Roach, Justin Pender, Jordan Kennedy, Kevin Reid and Ryan Desrosiers replied for defending league champion Clarenville.
Saturday night, the Flyers cruised to a 4-1 win in the season-opener. Power, Escott, Hynes and Paul Hutchings scored the Gander goals. Reid had the only Clarenville marker.
Next weekend, the Caribous visit Grand Falls-Windsor for a pair of games against the league’s third entry, the Cataracts.
Meanwhile, the Cataracts announced over the weekend the goaltender A.J. Whiffen is back with the team.
Whiffen played last season in Harbour Grace, helping the CeeBee Stars to the Herder Memorial Trophy championship. Whiffen played for years with his hometown team, and won a number of provincial championships with the Cataracts before making the move to the CeeBees last year.
The Cataracts also announced Patrick Yetman of St. John’s is the team’s new coach.
Yetman retired from an 11-year pro career in 2013, one that saw play in the American Hockey League, ECHL, Germany, Sweden and Finland.
That was following a three-year stint in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, including the 2000-01 season when he registered 101 points for the Moncton Wildcats.
Yetman replaces Tom Coolen, the former NHL assistant coach who guided the Cataracts the past two years. Coolen is coaching a first division team in Poland and is an assistant coach to Ted Nolan on the Polish national team.