Less than 48 hours after knocking off the higher-seeded Drumheller Dragons in Game 5 and hard-fought series, the Canmore Eagles were starting their South Semi-Final series (2nd Round) against the high flying Brooks Bandits who were ranked the #1 team in Canada. The Bandits who were coming off a 1st Round bye and playing their 1st game since March 2nd took advantage of an Eagles team that was playing their 6th game in the last 9 days as Brooks won game one 8-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the Best-of-7 series.
“We played pretty well, but we sat back too much and watched them too much,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “We were a little tired in the 3rd period, we were not playing aggressive enough and we gave them too much respect.”
Despite losing the game 8-2 and getting outshot 44-13, the Eagles were in the game until the middle of the 3rd period. The Bandits scored the 1st goal of the game at 4:16 of the 1st period, however, the Eagles answered back to tie the game at 1-1 only 66 seconds later on Finn Withey’s 1st career AJHL Playoff goal. Max Giangualano and Daly Hamilton picked up the assists. The Bandits though regained the lead at 12:19 and they were up 2-1 at the 1st intermission.
In the 2nd period, the Eagles had a glorious opportunity to tie the game at 2-2, as Michael Spafford found himself on a breakaway, but he could not beat Bandits netminder Pierce Charlson. Then the Bandits scored twice in the period to go to the 2nd intermission up by 3.
In the 3rd period, the Bandits scored three times, before the Eagles answered on a Power Play goal from Quinton Ong at 17:28, his 4th of the Playoffs. Colton Young and Daly Hamilton got the helpers.
Thomas Davis who was brilliant in the Eagles’ series win over Drumheller certainly kept the Eagles in the contest and he made 36 saves.
Game 2 goes Saturday night back at Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks. Game time is 7 pm. The series will then switch to the Canmore Recreation Centre for Game 3 on Monday night and Game 4 on Tuesday night.
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– Over 100 Eagles fans gathered at the Cornerstone Theatre to watch Friday’s game on the big screen. A big thank you to the Cornerstone Theatre for being such a great host and a big thank you to all our fans who came out to watch the game.