CLARENVILLE, N.L. — If Game 1 is any indication of the tone of the rest of the Central West Senior Hockey League (CWSHL) semi-final series between the Clarenville Ford Caribous and the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, there will be plenty of bad blood going forward.
Throughout the contest — which the Caribous won 4-2 — tempers flared, with officials doling out roughing minors, stick infractions and a game misconduct, filling the penalty sheet.
The Caribous got the scoring going in the first period, as Ryan Desrosiers squeaked a wrap-around goal by Cats goalie A.J. Whiffen 12 minutes in, while Ryan Delaney added another about three minutes later.
The Cataracts were able to cut the lead in half before the first intermission, when Steve Yetman scored to make it 2-1.
In the second, Ryan Delaney scored his second goal of the game during a four minute powerplay — after Yetman went to the penalty box for spearing.
Nearing the end of the period, players on both teams showed fire — perhaps a symptom of CWSHL playoff hockey — as a scrum along the boards had helmets flying along with plenty of pushing and shoving. The encounter resulted in two-minute roughing minors for Desrosiers, Mike Dyke, and Cataract Andrew Brennan, while Greg Hoffe received a double minor for roughing.
Only minutes later, officials were busy again separating players when tempers rose after a shorthanded break opportunity for the Cats. And again, when an apparent Caribous goal was disallowed because the whistle had already been blown, the referee handed out more penalties.
Finally, after an interference call against the Cats with only 1.7 seconds left in the period, Grand Falls-Windsor captain Mike Brent, who was already in the box, was ejected — who then proceeded to storm off the ice towards the dressing room, breaking his stick over his knee in the process and throwing it through the tunnel.
Up 3-1 in the third frame, Rod Mahoney of the Caribous scored on a one-timer during a five-on-three advantage.
While the Cats added a goal by Kyle McGuirk to make it 4-2, they would not get any closer before the final buzzer sounded.
The two teams will go at it again on Sunday for Game 2, starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Eastlink Events Centre.