Captain leads the Eagles to victory

Photo : Sei Spo Press

Captain leads the Eagles to victory

The Canmore Eagles picked up five of a possible six points on offer this Alberta Junior Hockey League week with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Oilers in Okotoks on Sunday (Oct. 16).

Eagles’ captain Vince Scott scored once in regulation and then finished the afternoon off with the lone shootout goal to give Canmore its fourth win in an overtime or shootout scenario this season. The 20-year-old Edmonton native has been the sparkplug that energies his teammates, and has a team leading six goals and 14 points. There was no better example of his on-ice leadership abilities then on Sunday, with two outstanding goals.

Andrea Proctor-Ramirez, who has struggled in the early part of this campaign, turned in the type of performance that earned him South Division all-star selection last season stopping 36 shots and all three Oilers’ shooters in the game-deciding shootout. Often spectacular in Sunday’s game, the 20-year-old from Paradise Hill posted his first victory since the opening game of the season.

Mason Bueckert, with his fifth goal of the season, opened the scoring on the power play in the first period to give the Eagles the early lead. Conyr Hellyer, with his 10th goal this season, tied it up for the Oilers, and the teams went to the first break tied at 1-1.

Scott then scored a power-play marker in the second frame, using his pace to get open on the right wing and wiring a one-timer off a cross-ice pass from Kayden Smith into the top corner, short side to put the Eagles back on top. However, the Oilers’ Brett Huxley would tie it up with 86 seconds remaining in regulation time.

Scott’s shootout game winner came with some shifty stickhandling in front of the Okotoks goal before rounding a sprawled out Parker Sawka, who made 24 saves in regulation and overtime, finishing the play off by sliding the puck between skate and post. Proctor-Ramirez would have to make one more pad save to ensure the Eagles’ victory.

Canmore’s power play has been rapidly improving with the two goals on Sunday giving them six in their last three games and now 12 on the season in 82 total chances, the most opportunities by a wide margin of any AJHL club. Canmore finished Sunday 2-for-7 with the man advantage while Okotoks went 1-for-4.

A victory in Okotoks is especially sweet for the Eagles as they have been few and far between. The last time Canmore won in Okotoks during the regular season was Feb. 7, 2020 — a 5-4 shootout win – while the last regulation-time victory for Canmore in Okotoks was a 5-2 win on Oct. 31, 2015. Canmore returns to Okotoks on Friday (Oct. 21), 7 p.m. at the Okotoks Centennial Arena, in what is the Eagles’ next game.

Kodiaks edge Eagles in a shootout

Canmore suffered its first shootout loss of the season on Friday (Oct. 14) when they were edged 5-4 by the Camrose Kodiaks at the Canmore Recreation Centre.

The Eagles recovered from two, two-goal deficits in the game but were unable to get past the Kodiaks with Owen Dean giving the visitors the win with the lone shootout tally.

The teams were tied 1-1 after 20 minutes with Jared Chapel scoring for Camrose and Scott for Canmore.

In the second period, Camrose jumped out to a 3-1 lead on goals by Ryan Sullivan and Callum Gau. Bueckert would get one back for Canmore. Myle Gauld gave the Oilers a 4-2 lead before Smith scored for the Eagles to make it 4-3 after 40 minutes.

Tyler Loughman scored 58 seconds into the third period to knot the game at 4-4 and that’s where it stood through to the shootout.

Camrose outshot Canmore 32-31 with Robert Andreakos in goal for the Kodiaks and Matthew Malin between the pipes for the Eagles

The week began with Malin recording his first AJHL shootout in a 3-0 win over the Grande Prairie Storm on Tuesday (Oct. 12).

Canmore, with 13 games played, improves to 6-5-1-1 with six games being decided in the three-on-three overtime (two wins and one loss) or through a shootout (also two wins and one loss). In addition, the Eagles have been trending their past 11 games, rotating wins and losses throughout and have yet to put together back-to-back wins. The team stands fifth in the South Division with 14 points.

This coming week, Canmore also has a Sunday (Oct. 23) matinee against the Olds Grizzlys, 2 p.m. at the Olds Sportsplex. The Eagles’ next home game is Wednesday (Oct. 26) against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, with the game set for 7 p.m. at Banff’s Fenlands Arena.