Photo : Sei Spo Press
Back in the win column
It’s been a long and unrewarding month of November for the Canmore Eagles, as they dove headlong into the most difficult portion of their schedule and would find wins elusive, but on Saturday (Nov. 19) the team was finally rewarded with a victory.
The Eagles ended a six-game Alberta Junior Hockey League losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Oilers in Okotoks.
Canmore took the lead on three different occasions in the South Division clash, sealing the win with an empty net goal.
In the first period, Kayden Rawji gave Canmore a 1-0 lead at 9:16, pouncing on a loose puck at the top of the crease. Connor Gourlay responded for Okotoks less than two minutes later with a power-play goal.
Canmore would get its own power-play goal, a rare event this month, when Finn McLaughlin fired a low wrist shot far side from the top of the left wing, face-off circle. It would give the Eagles a 2-1 lead with 31 seconds left in the second period.
Okotoks, who are in second place in the South Division, ratchetted up the pressure in the third period firing 17 shots at Eagles’ goaltender Matthew Malin. The 15th shot of the period by Okotoks captain Dean Spak, from in tight at the top of the crease, would knot the game at 2-2 at 16:50.
On the ensuing centre-ice face-off, the Oilers were back on the offence, but then a quick counter by the Eagles saw defence Casey Black join a rush up ice, get behind the defence and in position to pounce on a rebound off a Rhett Dekowny shot to score his first goal of the season just 41 seconds later.
Owen Jones would fire the puck into an empty net from Canmore’s side of centre ice after stealing the puck away from the attacking Oilers at the Eagles’ blue line at 18:54.
Okotoks outshot Canmore 37-29. In goal for the Oilers was Andrew Scheiwiller, who had a 27-save shutout victory over the Eagles, 2-0, on Tuesday (Nov. 15).
Canmore was 1-for-4 on the power play and has just two power-play goals in 42 chances over seven games this month. Okotoks was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Through four games between these two divisional foes, each team has two wins. There are still two more games to come over the course of the regular season, both in Canmore: Dec. 3 and Jan. 11.
Stumbling in Blackfalds
Between the two games with Okotoks, the Eagles travelled to Blackfalds on Friday (Nov. 18), going down to a 5-1 defeat as their November losing streak reached six games.
Jayden Joy and Spencer Bell each scored twice for the hometown Bulldogs with Jason Siedem also registering a goal. Rawji scored for Canmore, as the first period ended at 1-1. Blackfalds scored three times in the second frame to pull away.
The shots were 34 apiece with Andreai Proctor-Ramirez in goal for the Eagles and Matthew Hennessey in goal for the Bulldogs.
Canmore’s power play was 0-for-5 and Blackfalds went 1-for-3.
With the results over the weekend, Canmore is now 10-12-1-2 and remains in sixth place in the South Division. Next up is a double dip of North Division teams at the Canmore Recreation Centre. The Sherwood Park Crusaders, coached by one-time Eagles assistant and Canmore native Evan Mc.Feeters, arrive on Friday (Nov. 25) at 7 p.m. Then it’s the Drayton Valley Thunder on Sunday (Nov. 27), beginning at 2 p.m.