Sunday, October 21, – Led by captain Riley Point’s two first-period goals, the Canmore Eagles won their second road game in as many nights as they defeated the Lloydminster Bobcats 3-1 Saturday night in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played before 1,093 fans in Lloydminster.
The Eagles began their “3 games in 2 1/2 days” road trip with a 5-2 victory over Bonnyville on Friday night and will wrap up the trip with an afternoon tilt in Drumheller this afternoon against the rested Dragons.
With their two recent road victories, the Eagles record improves to 7-4-3 and they now find themselves in fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings, just two points behind the second-place Calgary Mustangs. The Eagles have played three less games than the Mustangs.
Connor Hoekstra, with his fifth goal of the season, scored a power-play goal for the Eagles at the seven minute mark of the third period to give the Eagles a little extra breathing room. After scoring four goals in his first three games this year, Hoekstra had been kept off the score sheet for the past 10 games.
Eagle netminder Cam Barnes, after a tough start in his last outing against the powerful Brooks Bandits last Tuesday, rebounded with a solid effort stopping 26 of 27 Bobcat shots to improve his overall record to 3-2-1.
“Tonight was another good road game for us as we got off to another great start,” said Eagle Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, following the game. “We had a lapse in the second period, but Cam was there to bail us out when we needed him. It was good to see Hoekstra score and get that monkey off his back.
“We have had strong leadership from several players in the past few games. Guys like Nils Moser have been outstanding with very smart plays and heads-up, team-first hockey. Alex Barnes has also stepped up his game and is becoming a physical force out there.”
Sunday afternoon’s game in Drumheller will be a huge challenge for the Eagles as it will be the team’s third road game in 2 ½ days. The Dragons (5-9-1) are playing much better hockey of late as they have won their last two home games in impressive fashion defeating their southern division rivals Olds Grizzlys 5-1 on Oct. 17 and the Okotoks Oilers 6-0 on Oct. 19.
“We know we are going to have our hands full on Sunday afternoon,” said Milne. “But we are playing with confidence, so we’ll show up and see what happens.”
NOTEBOOK: Eagle's forward Zack Rassell picked up an assist last night and now has 20 points, good enough for sixth-place in the AJHL scoring parade. Rassell is just one point back of a five-way tie for top spot. . . Ryan Whitell, a 20-year-old, 6'4, 215 lb. defenceman made his Eagle debut last night and saw some time on the power-play. Whitell played for the Weyburn Red Wings of the SJHL last season scoring 11 goals and adding 21 assisits in 49 games played.