The CeeBees Stars scored a pair of goals in the last six minutes of the game to come back and defeat the Clarenville Caribous 4-3 in Game One of the 2013 Herder Championship at the Clarenville Events Centre on Saturday night.
After playing to a scoreless first period, the CeeBees were the first to find the back of the net as former Caribou Chris Hulit snuck one past Jason Churchill on the power play just five minutes into the second frame.
Brandon Roach fired a wrist shot from the slot that eluded CeeBees starting netminder Mark Yetman on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game.
Steve Yetman gave the Caribous their first lead of the game less than two minutes later as he fired a seeing-eye wrist shot from the blue line that found its way behind Yetman.
The Caribous held the lead well into the third period until Ryan Delaney scored on the power play with 11:46 left in the game to knot the game at two.
Yetman scored his second goal of the game just past the half-way point of the third period to regain the lead but the CeeBees weren't done just yet.
Robert Slaney pulled off a great move and beat Churchill in close to tie the game with just 6:18 remaining and it was Slaney who put the CeeBees again for good just under three minutes later.
Churchill wasn't as sharp as he had been in the semi-final series against the Western Royals and made 36 saves in a losing effort.
Yetman was solid between the pipes for the CeeBees and finished the game with 35 saves and the victory.
Caribous head coach Ivan Hapgood knew his team might take a period or two to get their legs back after an extended layoff but didn't expect his team to fall flat against an energetic CeeBees squad.
"We simply got outworked in the third period," Hapgood said.
"No question about it. They outworked us, we didn't get the puck deep, our passing was terrible. We're starting to have a history of playing a terrible first game in the Herder. Three years now we have dropped the first game of the Herder. I'm not saying we try to do that. It is what it is."
The Caribous have been able to bounce back from a Game One loss to win the Herder more than once so heading into Game Two, Hapgood admits he is confident in his team's ability to win.
"I can't say what kind of game the CeeBees will bring tomorrow but we will bring a much better game than we brought tonight," he said.
"Right now, we will take five or ten minutes to lick our wounds and after that, build up, move on and get out of here."
Game Two goes tomorrow, Sunday, March 10, at 2pm at the Clarenville Events Centre.