Baby Leafs win home opener

By Kevin Kelly

Craig Mills named first star
as Leafs hold off Manitoba for a 5-4 victory

The captain of a team is the spiritual leader of a
club, a go-to guy who will lead his teammates by
example. The Leafs new captain, Craig Mills, did just
that as he scored a goal and an assist and played his
heart as the Leafs defeated the Manitoba Moose 5-4 in
their home opener before 6,247 fans crammed into Mile
One Stadium.

Coach Lou Crawford heaped praise on his captain. “He’s
the trademark lunchpail guy we need to have,” the
coach said. “You build off people like him”.
For the first time this season, the line of Bob Wren,
Josh Holden and Brad Leeb were held off the
scoresheet, but other players took the reigns for
them.

The Leafs were on fire early on, helped by Mikael
Tellqvist, who played the first half of the game very
strongly, with a number of big saves to keep the Leafs
in the game when they got into some penalty trouble.
Paul Healey opened the scoring at 7:10 of the 1st,
with a lovely assist by Brad Boyes and Aaron Gavey to
take the early lead. After Zenith Komarniski tallied
his second of the year for the Moose to tie it, the
Leafs tallied three straight. Doug Doull blew a
howitzer past a startled Tyler Moss for his 2nd of the
year at 11:02 (from Nathan Barrett), Craig Mills goal
at 19:59 from Alexei Ponikarovsky and Luca Cereda and
Luca Cereda tallied his second point of the night when
he scored his second of the year at 6:25 of the second
from Mills and Ponikarovsky. Cereda likes the way
things are going for the Leafs so far this season.
“We have a good team,” the sophomore Leafs forward
said. “Everybody is on the same page, we’re scoring
goals, our goalies are great and we keep working
hard.”

The 4-1 Leafs lead evaporated quickly though late in
the second as the Moose got goals from Brandon Reid
and Pat Kavanaugh to make it 4-3. However, the Leafs
went up 5-3 when defenceman Ric Jackman, in St. John’s
on a conditioning assignment, tallied his first of the
season at 11:40 of the 3rd from Paul Healey and Aaron
Gavey. The Moose made it 5-4 when Ryan Ready scored
but couldn’t get the equalizer despite peppering
Tellqvist with 44 shots. The two teams meet again
tonight at Mile One.

LEAFS NOTES:

Corner Brook native Jason King got an assist on
Kavanaugh’s goal for the Moose. Meanwhile, former Leaf
Jeff Farkas, who had been on fire with 8 points, was
held off the scoresheet, thanks to the strong
defensive play of Anders Eriksson and Jackman.