West Side Monarchs’ Clarence Bennett, left, keeps an eye on Newfoundland Fasteners’ Chris Casey as he looks to play the ball during opening night action of the men’s broomball league at the Pepsi Centre. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
CORNER BROOK Just one minute into his 52nd season of broomball, Eric (Sticky) Young Sr. scored.
It turned out to be the only goal of the Corner Brook Molson Senior Men’s Broomball League opener on Monday night, as the defending-champion West Side Monarchs knocked off Newfoundland Fasteners 1-0 at the Pepsi Centre.
Even at 68 years old, the first game of a new season is still an exciting one for the veteran of the sport.
“It feels wonderful,” he said. “A bit out of shape, but that takes time ... you always got a good rush on for the first game.”
Though the league re-drafts every off-season to promote parity among the four teams, this is the third year in a row Young has donned the gold and black of the Monarchs.
“I don’t think we have as much firepower up front this year,” he said, comparing this year’s crew to the group that won the championship last season. “But we’ve got a good bunch of guys and we worked well together. We scored really early and played good defensive ball.
“I think we should be OK for the year coming up.”
Having been a part of the league for so long, there was a time Young could glance at the opening-night rosters and determine who might be the team to beat. Those days are gone, he said.
“There’s several new people in the league this year that I don’t know much about,” he said.
That’s all on paper, of course, but the game is played on the ice. The main thing, according to Young, is how his team earned that first victory immediately to start the season off right.
“They wanted to win as much as we did,” he said. “But we got that one break there at the first of it.”
The most recent time these two teams were in action, Scott Wayson recorded a goal — to help the Monarchs capture last year’s league title last April.
Wayson is now a member of the bolt bunch, thanks to the re-draft.
He’s a fan of the process and the fresh start it provides each year.
“It makes for an even league,” he said. “There’s a lot of great players in this league where you can make four teams.
“Every year you get a different team, different players, different styles ... different everything, pretty well.”
He attributed his team’s lack of offence to it being the first game of the year.
“First game legs, I guess,” he said. “You’re not feeling it right away. No hands.”
In this one, nobody had hands — except, of course, Sticky.
“He’s a great broomball player,” Wayson said of Young. “I don’t know how he keeps it at that level.
“I wish I could still play at 80 or whatever he is,” he added with a laugh.
The following is a summary of the other league game Monday night:
Western Building Products 1, Investors Group 1
Cory Rideout supplied the lone goal for the builders, with Cory Mosher drawing the assist.
Pat Fewer replied for the investors, assisted by Mike Hawco.
Marc Green pulled double duty, tending goal for the builders in his second game of the night, while Adam Tilley patrolled the crease for the investors.
Monarchs 1, Fasteners 0
1) 17:00 — Eric Young Sr., Monarchs (Clarence Bennett, John Pelley)
Goalies: Marc Green (W), Jeremy Mahar (L)