Sharks circling for fresh meat

The Club House Sharks are newcomers who have quickly earned respect in Cayman roller hockey.

Heading into this week, the Sharks are atop the 2012 national roller hockey league. The last available standings had the Sharks at 8-1 after nine matches at Kings Sports Centre.

Leading the charge has been winger Rob Rintoul, who is the league’s leading scorer with 26 points off a competition-best 12 assists and 14 goals. The Deloitte manager states it has been a total team effort.

“I think the key to our team is everyone contributes and there is no one person to key in on to shut us down,” Rintoul said. “Everyone on our team has the ability to score and everyone has stepped up and had strong games.

“We have three strong defencemen in Tim Courtis, Joe Jewitt and Dave Champoux who shut down the opposition and are putting the puck in the net as well. We also have strong goaltending from Scott Hughes and are getting key saves in close games that swing momentum in our favour.”

The Sharks are dominating the statistics sheet. They have the most goals scored (56) and the fewest allowed (36), sport the league’s top goal scorer in Dan Etherington (with 17 goals so far) and Hughes is playing at a high level in net (league-best 82.6 save percentage, 23 goals allowed, 132 saves).

Though new in name, the Sharks are a veteran group as all of the key guys have played locally for over a year. Rintoul states their winning ways are possible due to Club House’s sponsorship.

“The Club House is a huge supporter of hockey in the Cayman Islands. They have supported the kids by having “Hockey Day in Cayman” back in February for the youth travel teams and we thought it would be a good fit to have them stay involved at the men’s level as well. Everyone at Club House has been great and we hope to hoist the Cherry Cup for them at the end of the year.”

Rintoul and company are next in action on Tuesday, 24 April, at Kings. The Sharks have a week 12 encounter with the 2-3-1 Flames at 9.10pm. Club House are coming off a 13-7 thrashing of the 3-4 Gamebirds last Tuesday.

The Gamebirds are in third place with about four weeks left to play. The side boasts top scorers Brendon Malice (11 goals, 10 assists) and Eric Mildenberger (14 goals, six assists). Their next opponents are the 4-3 High Rollers on Tuesday at 8.10pm; they recently crushed the Spartans to remain in second place. Malice, the team captain, states it was a lost opportunity.

“We’re not where the Sharks are at right now,” Malice said. “We beat the Sharks the first game of the season and they’re clicking now. We’re struggling on defence without our goalie Randy Cannon (out with a groin injury).

“I’m a defenceman and we’re still trying to find who plays best with who. It’s been such an up and down season and we should have beaten the High Rollers the last time we played.

“We got to take pressure off of Eric. The Sharks and High Rollers have double-teamed him and made it tough to score. The Sharks and High Rollers have five or six phenomenal players and teams may underestimate us, but that helps.”