After an impressive championship season, the Deloitte Sharks have their minds set on more hockey hardware.
Deloitte are the new champions of roller hockey in Cayman after sweeping the Cayman Hot Sauce Flames in the Cherry Cup finals. For goalie Scott Hughes, the key to a repeat in 2013 will rest in the roster configuration.
“I think we could repeat,” Hughes said. “If the team sticks together, we can and that would be the goal. It wasn’t easy, though Flames goalie Jeremy Olynik was more peppered than me. I felt they played good in the first half of game two and then in the second half, we pulled away. Ultimately, I was tired of seeing Burger King Gamebirds goalie Randy Cannon win every year. I had to win one.”
The Sharks won game one 9-4 at Kings Sports Centre, before closing it out with a 10-3 game two victory. It would mark the first Cherry Cup trophy for Deloitte, who sported unheralded talents like Wayne Griffith.
It was a remarkable journey for Deloitte, who finished third in the regular season with a 5-6-1 record. The squad would defeat the Mepco High Rollers in the playoffs, who were 8-4 this year behind Mark Missal.
Rob Rintoul was the Sharks’ top scorer in the regular season. The Deloitte manager states his side will savour the moment.
“It’s always good to be the champions,” Rintoul said. “It was a team effort, everyone contributed. Everyone made the right decisions, no one played selfish. The Flames made it tough on us. They were tough opponents who put the puck in the net. We had nine guys in game two. For only having five guys, they didn’t make it an easy win.
“We couldn’t have done it without Deloitte’s sponsorship. Also, Tim Courtis’ leadership as team captain brought us through in the end. It would be good to keep the guys together. The league is looking at five teams next season. The trick will be goalies as there are never enough. Guys like Scott and Mepco’s Andrew Finlason are hard to find.”
For Cayman Hot Sauce, the finals sweep came after a rough year which saw stars like Jason Windsor go down with injury. The Flames overcame a miserable 2-10 campaign to upset the 9-3 Burger King Gamebirds, the regular season winners and reigning champions, in the playoffs.
In 2013, the Flames figure to be in good position with prodigies like Jean-Louis Beaudet and Jagger Hope in the side. Aside from a reinvigorated Cayman Hot Sauce squad and roster changes, team health could be a factor for the Sharks. Joe Jewitt had the most notable injury for Deloitte, missing the finals with a sprained left ankle.
Jewitt, an offensive factor and one of the team’s best defencemen, states he intends to be back to full strength next season. “I got hit by Mepco’s Jeff Danter about four weeks ago,” Jewitt said. “He’s too big, the guy’s a hazard out there. I thank my wife for her support during my recovery.
“I can’t wait to get back, go out there next season, continue the legacy and beat Darryl Hather’s High Rollers once again. Merry Christmas everyone.”