By Russ Ullyot
Courtesy of the Crag and Canyon – Sun Media
A better effort but a bitter result again for the Canmore Eagles.
The hometown Eagles were handed a 5-3 loss by the Brook Bandits in Alberta Junior Hockey League action before 439 fans on Saturday night.
The high-scoring Bandits snapped a 3- 3 tie in the third period en route to improving on its second-best record in the South Division, winning its 41st game of the season.
By contrast, the Canmore Eagles are mired in sixth place in the same division, losing for the 31st time this season.
For most of this game though the two teams appeared to be on equal footing. Eagles head coach Andrew Milne was much more impressed with his charges than he was following Friday night’s 7-1 home-ice loss to the South Division-leading Camrose Kodiaks.
“I thought we played hard. I thought our guys played well tonight,” said Milne. “They responded well after last night’s game. We just didn’t get the breaks tonight they did.
“The process was there tonight. The result is not what we wanted.”
Milne was referring to Derek Lodermeier’s shorthanded goal in the second period to give the Bandits a 2-0 lead, and then Eagles rookie Logan Ferguson being robbed by Brooks goaltender Josh Davies in the third period during a shorthanded breakaway. A goal at that point would have tied the game at 4-4.
“We don’t get our shorthanded goal, and that is a game changer,” said Milne.
Brooks would score a power-play marker seconds later.
“That is not (Logan Ferguson’s) fault, obviously, but it would have been nice.”
Two consecutive home-ice losses keeps Canmore three points back of the fifth-place Olds Grizzlys with two games to play. The Grizzlys have three games remaining after suffering an 8-5 loss to the Whitecourt Wolverines on Saturday night on home ice.
In Canmore, Eagles goals came from Brett Radford, Matt Forchuk and Kyle Pauls.
Brooks goals from Mark Logan, Lodermeier, Alex Roberts, Nick Prkusic and Kyle Star.
The shots were 28 apiece. In goal for Canmore was Ryan Ferguson.
Canmore forward Joe Serpico saw his four-game goal-scoring streak come to an end in this one but he did pick up an assist to extend his points streak to six games.
“I thought we outchanced (Brooks) but that is the way it goes sometimes,” said Serpico. “We were getting on their ‘D’ and taking it to them.”
Brooks would get on the scoreboard at 8:20 of the first period. A face-off win in the Eagles’ zone led to Mark Logan scoring his 20th goal of the season.
That would be the only goal of the opening frame.
The teams then exchanged goals in the second period. First it was Lodermeier, with his 11th of the season.
Radford then got the first of the night for Canmore, his fifth, at 2:39.
Brooks regained their two-goal lead 42 seconds later on Roberts’ 25th goal at 3:21.
The fourth goal of the period in less than nine minutes came from Forchuk, his 11th this season, at 8:29.
In the third period, the Eagles looked like they were going to make a game of it when Pauls struck for the tying goal at 2:34.
However, the high-scoring Bandits, second in the league in scoring, were not ready to surrender a result to the Eagles.
Prkusic scored his ninth of the season at 5:57.
That goal was followed by a power-play goal by Star at 10:59.
Stars’s 10th goal of the season came just seconds after the Bandits goalie robbed Logan Ferguson on a breakaway, with a quick glove, that would have tied the game.
The Eagles would outshot the Bandits 13-9 in the third period.
Canmore has just two games remaining in the regular season heading to Calgary on Wednesday to take on the Canucks, who are in a battle with city-rival Mustangs for the final playoff spot in the South, and then hosting Olds on Friday, 7 p.m. at the Canmore Rec Centre.
EAGLES NEST: Ryan Ferguson’s goaltending record is 20 wins and 30 losses (including one in overtime and one in a shootout). He was 24-16 last season. … The top four spots in the South Division are set, with Camrose (45-8-4) taking first place, Brooks (41-13-4) second, Okotoks Oilers (37-15-5) third and Drumheller Dragons (29-21-7) fourth. Still to be determined is fifth place, between Olds (23-25-9) and Canmore (25-31-2), and the final playoff spot between the Mustangs (19-34-4) and Canucks (17-32-8).
BANDITS 5 at EAGLES 3
Saturday, Feb. 21 at Canmore
1. Brooks: Logan (20) (Roberts, Dunn) 11:40
PENALTIES – Mumby Can (roughing) 1:27; Nachtigall Bro (interference) 19:19
2. Brooks: Lodermeier (11) 1:09 SH
3. Canmore: Radford (5) (Lavoie) 2:39
4. Brooks: Roberts (25) (Baird, Lester) 3:21
5. Canmore: Forchuk (11) (Olson, C. Wilson) 8:29
PENALTIES – Sutherland Can (cross checking), Paskaruk Bro (roughing) 3:47; Lester Bro, Olson Can (roughing), Forchuk Can (high sticking) 5:12; Baughman Bro (cross checking) 8:58; Malott Bro (cross checking) 14:45; Plevy Bro (cross checking), Olson Can (roughing) 16:56.
6. Canmore: Pauls (8) (Risling, Serpico) 2:34
7. Brooks: Prkusic (9) (Malott, Lodermeier) 5:57
8. Brooks: Starr (10) ( 10:59 PP
PENALTIES – Ursulak Bro (high sticking) 7:06; Olson Can (cross checking) 9:32; Prkusic Can (boarding) 12:12.
Shots on goal by:
Brooks 10 9 7 — 26
Canmore 7 8 9 — 24
Goaltenders: Brooks – Davies (23-7); Canmore – R. Ferguson (20-30).
Power Plays: Brooks 0 for 0; Canmore 0 for 0.
Referee: Stefanyk. Linesemen: Co. Huseby, Ch. Huseby.