His name proved a tongue twister for the public address announcer and his play had the opposition tied up in knots on Friday night.
Max Giangualano recorded a hat trick as the Canmore Eagles defeated the Grande Prairie Storm 6-1 in Alberta Junior Hockey League action before 387 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
“It feels pretty good,” said Giangualano “It was pretty easy when you have teammates that can get you the puck. We stuck to our systems and worked hard. We just played solid, hard on pucks and never gave up.”
The Eagles rookie, who played for the Calgary Buffaloes major midget team last season, doubled his season output to six goals. He also picked up one assist and has 11 points on the season.
Daly Hamilton (2 goals on the season) scored for the second consecutive game, Taden Rattie (6) and Jake Ashton (12) rounded out the Eagles’ goal scorers.
Connor Blake (14) scored for the Storm.
“Tonight, we found ways to score and we did a good job of executing,” said Andrew Milne, Eagles GM and head coach.
Canmore outshot Grande Prairie 37-32 with Thomas Davis (9-15, 3.76 GAA) in goal for the Eagles and Charles-Olivier Levesque (11-14, 3.43 GAA) in net for the Storm.
“Davis was solid when he needed to be, but our backend was good clearing pucks in front and giving them only outside shots,” said Milne. “We were good from top to bottom.”
Hamilton scored the lone first-period goal at 17:37.
Blake’s goal would tie the game at 1-1 at 13:15 of the second period.
Giangualano would then begin a five-goal run for the Eagles. His first goal would come at 14:46 of the second period, batting in a puck while falling to the ice.
“I was kind of mid-air and the puck hit my stick,” said the 16-year-old. He turns 17 on Dec. 29.
Rattie would score at 17:15 of the second period and Ashton would score a power-play goal at 2:32 of the third period to put the Eagles up 4-1.
Giangualano would wrap up the goal scoring in this game with goals at 9:02 of 19:20 of the third period.
The second goal was a wrist shot from outside and above the right wing faceoff circle that beat Levesque low, far side.
“I was looking for a pass but I shot it and it worked out good,” said Giangualano.
The final goal, came on the power play, with his teammates looking to feed him the puck. Giangualano was skating into the high slot when Justin Giacomin fed him the puck, with the shot beating the Storm goaltender high stick side.
“I was just blowing up the zone and Giacomin found me, making a good tape-to-tape pass and I just put it in the back of the net,” said Giangualano.
Canmore also received some valuable news this week in that a 6-2 loss to the Okotoks Oilers on Dec. 5 was overturned. The Oilers, shorthanded with players attending the Canada West selection camp, used an illegible affiliate player in the victory.
With two more wins under their skates, Canmore improved to 15-17-2 for 32 points, three back of the fourth-place Calgary Mustangs (16-17-3), who lost 4-3 in overtime to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (25-4-2, North Division, first) and three up on a chasing pack of three teams.
The Olds Grizzlies (14-20-1) were 5-3 winners over the Lloydminster Bobcats (11-21-2, North, seventh) to move into with the idle Calgary Canucks (14-18-1) and Camrose Kodiaks (11-15-7) for sixth through eighth place in the division. All three teams have 29 points.
Grande Prairie (16-13-3) is fourth in the North.
Canmore hosts Lloydminster on Saturday (Canmore Rec Centre, 7 p.m.)
EAGLES NEST: Canmore power play was 2-for-6 while Grande Prairie was 0-for4. … The Canmore bench looked a little different on Friday with no assistant coaches available – Jeremy Reich was suspended after receiving a games misconduct last outing against the Camrose Kodiaks and Evan McFeeters away attending to a personal matter – while Dr. Mike Quinlan was pressed into duties as the team’s trainer. … Following Saturday’s game, the Eagles wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule by hosting the Drumheller Dragons on Tuesday (Canmore Rec Centre, 7 p.m.)