‘It is laborious to place into phrases proper now’: Southern Shore wins its second-straight Herder Memorial Trophy championship



MOBILE, N.L. — The sound of air horns crammed the Ken Williams Southern Shore Area in Cell Sunday afternoon.

With 10 seconds left within the third interval of the Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers’ Sport 5 victory over the Deer Lake Crimson Wings, the horns and the cheers of the individuals holding them reached a fever pitch.

They have been moments away from the Herder Memorial Trophy and sense of anticipation within the enviornment hung within the air just like the banners of earlier championships dangled from the ceiling.

When the ultimate buzzer sounded, the Breakers had received the sport 6-2 to take a 4-1 collection win.

“It is an unimaginable feeling,” mentioned Stephen Oates moments after taking a victory lap with the trophy. “We have labored so laborious, our complete group and to get to the highest of the mountain and at last obtain our objective … it is unbelievable.

“It is laborious to place into phrases proper now”

The Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers are the 2023 Herder Memorial Trophy champions after defeating the Deer Lake Red Wings 4-1 in the best-of-seven series.The Breakers sealed the series victory with a 6-2 win Sunday afternoon at the Ken Williams Southern Shore Arena in Mobile. - Nicholas Mercer/The Telegram
The Puglisevich Southern Shore Breakers are the 2023 Herder Memorial Trophy champions after defeating the Deer Lake Crimson Wings 4-1 within the best-of-seven collection.The Breakers sealed the collection victory with a 6-2 win Sunday afternoon on the Ken Williams Southern Shore Area in Cell. – Nicholas Mercer/The Telegram

The sport

Breakers captain Jeremy Nicholas scored twice within the victory, together with Jesse Sutton (2), Brendan Houlihan and Kieran O’Driscoll. Luke Parsons scored twice for the Crimson Wings.

The Breakers threw some over 40 photographs at Deer Lake starter Billy Clarke, whereas Southern Shore starter Mark Energy picked up his third win of the collection.

Afterwards, Nicholas had reward for the Crimson Wings and the collection they performed.

“It was a tough, laborious collection,” he mentioned. “There was loads of hitting, much more hitting within the Herder closing than there was all season. They’re a fantastic staff, they work actually laborious and so they’re younger too.

“In the event that they keep collectively, they obtained a great future.”

First at dwelling shortly

For the Breakers, it was their second straight Herder trophy after additionally profitable senior hockey’s high prize the yr earlier than. As a franchise, it was their seventh Herder win in 10 makes an attempt.

Nevertheless, it was the primary they’d received on the enviornment in Cell since 1999. For somebody like Stephen Oates, who grew up watching the likes of Andy Sullivan, Loyola O’Driscoll and others on the Ken Williams Area, profitable at hand-crafted it a bit extra particular.

“It’s been sort of dream my complete life to win it in entrance of those nice followers that we have now,” he mentioned.

Oates was named the MVP of the Herder closing.

For Nicholas, this yr’s win ranks excessive up there amongst his profession accomplishments as a result of it got here on dwelling ice.

“It’s one other factor altogether,” he mentioned. “Final yr was particular. (Successful) the primary time in 18 years in Clarenville, however to do it in entrance of our dwelling followers, our followers got here out in waves this yr, which was fairly particular.”

Successful a primary

Whereas Oates has a few Herder trophies on the mantle, teammate Jesse Sutton was celebrating his first championship.

The Mount Pearl native returned dwelling Christmas time after taking part in on the mainland for the final a number of years and was picked up by the Breakers shortly thereafter.

“I have never performed at dwelling in 9 years and with my household being from the southern shore space, it simply makes us superior and makes it extra particular,” mentioned Sutton.

This yr’s Herder marked the primary time in three years that the champion was determined with a collection between champions from two provincial senior hockey leagues.

The collection was each bodily and a present of the talent that exists throughout the province. With packed arenas in Deer Lake and Cell, the Herder was well-received by all.

For the gamers, it is indicative of a return to an earlier time.

“I believe senior hockey is again,” mentioned Nicholas. “It’s making an enormous turnaround now prefer it was again within the day, so it’s nice to see.”