UPCOMING HOME PLAYOFF GAMES:
GAME THREE – SUNDAY, MARCH 9 @ 5PM
GAME FOUR – MONDAY, MARCH 10 @ 7 PM
With their backs firmly up against the proverbial wall, the home-town Camrose Kodiaks responded with a hard fought 2-1 victory over the Canmore Eagles on Friday night in an Alberta Junior Hockey League Southern Division playoff game played before 1,185 fans in Camrose.
After losing Thursday night’s opening game 1-0 to Canmore, the Kodiaks came back with a determined effort to even the best-of-five opening round playoff series at one game apiece.
The series now shifts to Canmore for the next two games with Game Three set for Sunday, March 9 at 5 PM and Game Four scheduled for a 7 PM start on Monday, March 10. Game Five, if necessary, would be played back in Camrose on Wednesday, March 12.
Nelson Gadoury was the hero for the Kodiaks on Friday night as he scored two second period goals to give the Kodiaks a 2-0 lead heading into the third period.
Canmore’s Connor Wilson scored a powerplay goal halfway through the third period to pull the Eagles to within a goal, but Kodiak goaltender Devin McDonald shut the door the rest of way to preserve the Kodiak victory. Camrose outshot the Eagles by a 24-21 margin.
It marked the fourth straight year that the Kodiaks have lost Game One of an opening round playoff series at home, before rebounding to win Game Two.
For Canmore, gaining a split in Camrose has to be seen as a huge accomplishment as the Eagles had not won a game in Camrose since Dec. 11, 2008.
With the series now tied at 1-1, the best-of-five series is now effectively a best “two-out-three” affair with the next two games in Canmore.
“It's a difficult loss tonight, but it's a five game series and we knew going in that it wasn't going to be easy,” said Eagle's Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “Goals are hard to come by in this series and they scored on their chances tonight and we didn't. But I'm very proud of the ways the boys are playing defensively. We are excited to be coming home and look forward to playing in front of our fans where we have felt comfortable all year.”
Canmore has enjoyed great success playing on home ice at the Canmore Recreation Centre this season going 21-7-1. The Kodiaks were 10-16-4 on the road during the 2013-14 season.
In their three regular season games played against each other at the Canmore Recreation Centre this year, the Eagles took five out of possible six points against the Kodiaks winning 4-3 (Jan. 31), 5-1 (Feb. 1), while losing a shoot-out decision 3-2 on Dec. 20.
Advanced tickets for Sunday’s 5 PM home game will be on sale at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Saturday, March 8 from 1 – 5 PM and beginning at 12 noon on Sunday, March 9. Tickets are selling fast and a sell out is expected.