PHOTO: Nolan Kurylo bangs in his first goal of the AJHL playoffs as team-mate Daylan Marchi battles for position in front of the Drumheller net during Friday night's 5-2 Eagle victory over Drumheller. Photo courtesy of Daniel Katz


Story courtesy of Russ Ullyot – Postmedia – Crag and Canyon

Andrew Milne, Canmore Eagles head coach, said the difference in Thursday’s game was the breaks his team didn’t get.

On Friday night, the Eagles made the most of the breaks they did receive after giving up a first-minute goal to score a 5-2 win over the Drumheller Dragons.

The victory tied this Alberta Junior Hockey League best-of-five series at one win apiece. The Dragons won the opener 4-1.

Canmore goals came from Adam Tisdale, who had the lone Eagles’ goal on Thursday, Lane Olson, Nolan Kurylo, Braden Saretsky and Brett Radford. Defencemen Braiden Doucette and Brett Schimmel each had two assists.

Both Drumheller goals came from Jacob Schofield.

There was no change in goaltenders from the opening game, with Canmore going with Ryan Bontorin and Drumheller with Jonny Hogue, with the Eagles outshooting the Dragons 39-37.

Canmore was 2-for-11 on the power play while Drumheller went 1-for-5.

“I thought we were competitive and worked hard. We competed and gave ourselves a chance to win,” said Milne.

“We took advantage of the early power plays [scoring twice in the first period] and gave ourselves a lead. If you are going to take liberties on our players we are going to hurt you with the power play.”

The series now switches to Drumheller for the next two games: Sunday at 4 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m.

Should a fifth game be necessary it will be played at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Wednesday. Game time would be 7 p.m.

Brian Curran, Drumheller Dragons head coach, knew Friday's contest was going to be different.

“(Canmore) came out and played physical,” said Curran. “I would have done the same thing… how do I know I am going to be back in my own building again [referring to a fifth game in Canmore if necessary] so I am going to give it everything I have got.

“I think we made crucial mistakes and they buried (the puck),” Curran said. “I thought they did a great job and we did just OK. It cost us but we will learn from it.”

It was a quick start for the visitors. The Dragons’ Schofield had the first shot on goal just 29 seconds into the contest and it beat Bontorin putting the Eagles in an early hole.

The home team would rebound in the period thanks to the power-play, which went scoreless in four chances on Thursday.

First, Tisdale, standing in the slot, tipped Jarell Pinchuk’s point shot past Hogue at 6:31.

It was followed by Olson wiring a shot from the high slot into the top corner over Hogue’s blocker at 19 minutes to give the home team its first lead of the series.

Olson’s goal came during a five-minute advantage for Drumheller’s Evan Tschumi’s checking from behind penalty – which included an automatic game misconduct – on Tisdale into the side boards at 14:09. The Canmore forward did need help off the ice but was back playing on the backend of the power play, which was interrupted for two minutes when Eagle Coy Prevost was tagged for an interference penalty.

Canmore outshot Drumheller 12-10 in the opening period.

Five minutes into the second period, Rochowiak had a breakaway but Bontorin denied him with the blocker, as the Dragon player attempted the same move his teammate Connor Boyd used to score on a similar play on Thursday.

It was followed less than two minutes later by Saretsky breaking in alone on the Dragons’ goaltender. The Eagles’ rookie deked his way past Hogue and slide the puck into the goal on the forehand at 7:23.

Kurylo scored an opportunistic goal at 18:53 of the period. Doucette’s point shot hit the backboards and came back out in front of the net where Kurylo pounded it into the goal.

Radford, wearing a cage the final two periods after suffering a suspected broken nose from stick to the face late in the first period, made it 5-1 at 16:10 of the third period. He backhanded the puck past Hogue after receiving a drop pass from Livingstone as he approached the goal.

Schofield scored his second of the game, batting a Salverda pass into the open side of the goal as he got to the front of the net uncontested during a power play at 17:17.

It wouldn't be playoff hockey without a good feud and the two teams were at their bickering best in the third period. There were plenty of on-ice shenanigans by both sides during the final minutes of this contest with a total 78 minutes in penalties doled out in the third period.

In total, the game featured 125 penalty minutes: Drumheller took 13 minors, two majors, four 10-minute misconducts and one game misconduct for 86 minutes; Canmore took seven minors, one major and two 10-minute misconducts for 39 minutes.

In other playoff games on Friday:

Crusaders 3 at Pontiacs 3

At Bonnyville, Merritt Oszytko scored the game winner at 6:46 of the third period as Sherwood Park wins twice on the road to take control of the series. The Crusaders scored twice in the first period. The Pontiacs scored twice in the second period.

Canucks 2 at Oilers 4

At Okotoks, Tanner Laderoute snapped a 2-2 tie at 14:42 of the third period and then set up an empty-net goal to give the Okotoks a 2-0 series lead over the Calgary Canucks.

Oil Barons 1 at Wolverines 5

At Whitecourt, Bryson Traptow scored once and set up two goals as the Wolverines took a 2-0 lead in the series with Fort McMurray.

Thunder 2 at Bobcats 3

At Lloydminster, Christian Lloyd scored a power-play goal at 9:42 of overtime to give the Royal Bank Cup hosts a 2-0 lead in their series with Drayton Valley.

Grizzlys 2 at Kodiaks 5

At Camrose, the Kodiaks outshot Olds 42-12 and got goals from five different players en route to taking a 2-0 lead in the series.

All playoff series resume Sunday.

EAGLES NEST: Colby Livingstone returned to Canmore’s lineup after missing the final game of the regular season and first game of the playoffs serving a suspension. Other scratches for the Eagles were Cole Noble, who played Thursday, Ryley Risling, Brayden Biccum and Kyle Pauls. … The Dragons had Nolan Kent dressed for the second successive game in the role as emergency backup goaltender.