The past season within the HNL-promoted 'East/Central Divisions', under a hastily created 7 team "NSHL" last October, brought numerous problems for the Cataracts - right from the 'get-go'... 1. The unbalanced Schedule of 10 games vs. the Gander Flyers was a challenge to keep fan interest because of the frequent repetition of games against the same opponent... 2. Also, as 'things' unfolded, there were disconcerting "no shows" by three of the five "east" teams - 60% of the teams in the 'east' that were supposed to vist GFW. (i) First off, the Clarenville Caribous, (the first east team scheduled early in the Season to play the Cataracts at the 'Joe') , didnot turn up as scheduled - resulting in a cancelled visit. ( The Bous did agree eventually to play a make-up game in the Second Half)... (ii) Then , two other of the east teams, ( ie. St.John's Caps/ & Northeast Eagles), didnot turn up at all, first nor last! That failure definitely didnot help the Cataracts (or Gander Flyers): A kind of survival mode had to be adopted to ensure the Season was kept alive...
WHOLE FOUNDATION OF SETTING UP STRUCTURE OF EAST VS. CENTRAL TEAMS UNDERMINDED!
Fan interest and consequent attendance for Cats games was adversely affected , in a noticeable way , because of the required unbalanced, heavily weighted schedule of games between the only two central teams in GFW and Gander... Also, the unexpected, re-scheduling of Clarenville's single scheduled visit to 'central' in the First Half of the Sesson, and the Second Half cancelled appearances of two other East teams from St.John's Caps and Torbay Northeast Eagles all undercut being able to hold onto fan interest , and affected the overall appearance of League viability. The impact of the shortened Season, (only a total 17 games got played), and the overall halting way the Season played out were all additional negatives that underminded the fans' committment ,interest and support of our team...
The final "Happy Ending" to the Season , with our wnning of a 15th Herder Provincial Championship hardly was able to offset adequately all the negatives of the Season Things will have to be acceptably fixed - if another Season is to have any real, postive future in central!
HOWEVER, CATS ORGANIZATION STILL WORKING HARD .
Despite all the issues that plagued the past Season, the Cats organization still willingly continues to work hard, to be ready , if things can get turned around and a viable framework found to allow the two, current central teams in GFW and Gander to participate. A set up going forward, that makes for more stable and varied competition for the two central teams, than what transpired in 2018-2019, needs to be urgently found!
In the meantime, the Cats are continuing to fund-raise, with weekly Bingos and making preparations for the teams' major Annual Golf Tournament in late June. As well, the Executive will be reviewing options for a more acceptable Senior hockey structure, to be further discussed and reviewed with HNL, at the fast-approaching Annual Summer Meeting ,set for just over a month, on June 7th weekend in Gander.... Hoping that teams "in the East" will be more committed than they were this past Season may not be enough?
GO CATS GO !!