Darren Langdon really doesn’t know why there was so much fuss, but he has no problem with giving up two points when they mean nothing to the team.
“Who’s going to drive six and one half hours for two periods of hockey at 9 o’clock at night when it doesn’t mean anything to us?” Langdon said Thursday of Royals president Ross Coates deciding to forfeit the two points left on the table from a game against the CeeBee Stars that was cancelled last month.
That’s how the Western Royals forward feels about the game in question that was staged at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium on a Sunday afternoon of a two-game road trip.
The Royals were trailing the CeeBee Stars 1-0 after the first period of a Sunday matinee game when things took a turn for the worse. The ice was deemed unsafe after the Zamboni ran out of propane and water spilled onto the ice during the first intermission.
Initally, league officials were going to go straight to a shootout to decide a winner, but eventually the decision was made to cancel the game.
“I mean they should have had it figured out better than that when it happened,” he said. “We could have probably had a little shootout and everybody would have been happy.”
Coates said player availability was a big factor in the equation because he didn’t think he could get a full complement of players to make the road trip, especially since only players listed on the actual game sheet were eligible to suit up for the resumption of the game if such was the case.
“It’s hard enough to get people in on the weekends when they know the schedule,” Langdon said, noting players have lives outside of hockey and his teammates were certainly looking forward to a weekend off before the playoff grind gets underway.
With two points awarded to them, the CeeBee Stars only trail the Mount Pearl Blades by a single point so it appears home-ice advantage in the first round will come down to one game. That game will see the CeeBee Stars play the Mount Pearl Blades 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium.
Meanwhile, the balance of the regular schedule that remains — a two-game showdown between the Cataracts and Caribous — will be played this weekend at the Clarenville Events Centre.
The game has no impact on the standings as both teams earned the bye in the first round in their respective divisions. However, the Caribous would play two less home games than every other team if the games didn’t go ahead, so revenue generation was certainly a factor in the two top dogs playing this weekend in Clarenville.
The Royals will clash with the Gander Flyers in the first round of the playoffs with Games 1 and 2 slated for the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in Deer Lake next weekend.