After a very busy week with the trade deadline being Friday (Jan. 10), the Canmore Eagles were back in action to entertain their hometown fans. The Blue and White squad certainly did not disappoint the 590 fans in attendance at the Canmore Rec Centre as they knocked off the visiting Fort McMurray Oil Barons by a score of 6-3. The win allows the Eagles to move within 9 points of the Camrose Kodiaks for 4th Place in the AJHL South Division. The Eagles record is now 15-23-4 for 34 points.
?I thought the guys played well,? said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. ?I thought the emotions were high to start the game. You know you?re back on home ice for a while. Not happy with the last game we played here on home ice. Our guys were excited to be back here and I thought they played well.?
It was the visitors who got on the board first when the Oil Barons leading scorer Michael Hodge scored at 5:40 of the 1st period. At 10:03, 17-year-old rookie Tristan Kimmen answered back for the Eagles with his 4th goal of the season. The Eagles then took the lead at 12:47 on Cam Sterling?s 4th goal of the season. Ethan Schaeffer and Jared Bowman got the assists. The Oil Barons, however, got back on even terms on a goal from Defenceman Kabore Dunn at 15:40.
Early in the 2nd period, the Eagles regained the lead on a goal from Zach Carlson only 31 seconds into the frame. It was his 11th goal of the season with Alex Young and Dylan Witzke assisting. The Eagles added to their lead at 11:25 on a Power Play goal from Witzke, his 3rd of the campaign. Connor Lyons and Carlson got the assists. The visitors got back within one on a goal from Brendan Stafford at 12:05, but before the end of the 2nd period, the Eagles regained their 2-goal cushion on a Power Play goal from Alex Young at 17:22 with Carlson and Lyons assisting.
Only one goal was scored in the 3rd period, it was Alex Young who found the back of the net for his 2nd goal of the night 26th of this season. Connor Lyons assisted.
?It was pretty good, I?ve been kinda dry on the score sheet the past couple of games,? said Alex Young after the game. ?It?s been good to get back on it and I had a lot of help from my linemates tonight.?
?I thought Alex was outstanding,? said Coach Milne. ?I thought Carlson and Lyons were great. Obviously, they?re big-time players. I thought they did a great job tonight of controlling their offence, they had a lot of zone time and a lot of opportunities.?
In between the pipes, it was Kadin Kilpatrick who got the start and he made 26 saves on 29 shots to improve his record to 7-10-4. The Eagles got the edge on shots by a count of 40-29.
Two Eagles players acquired earlier this week made their debut with their new team. Forwards Lukas Jirousek and Defenceman Zach Cunningham who were acquired from the Grande Prairie Storm in exchange for Max Giangualano and Carter Coles. Coach Milne was pleased with the performance of the 2 new Eagles tonight.
?I thought they both did good,? said Coach Milne. ?Again the emotions are high when you come to a new club. Lukas got in late last night, so for him to just have one day to get ready and all of a sudden turnaround and play, that was hard on him, but I thought he played really well. He was all over the ice tonight, got a couple of great scoring chances, some big hits, was physical, did a lot of good things. And Zach was the same. He had good puck possession, made a lot of nice plays with the puck and obviously you can see high offence.?
The Eagles host another North Division opponent tomorrow night as the Lloydminster Bobcats (6-29-4) come to town. Puck drop is 7 pm.
The Eagles will be seeking some redemption as when they faced in Bobcats in their barn back on November 8, the Eagles lost the game by a score of 6-1.
?We know they?re not a team that has had a lot of success, but they beat us before, so we?re not gonna take them lightly at all,? said Alex Young. ?We will be looking for revenge after they beat us, we?re hoping to give them a taste of their own medicine.?
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– For the 2nd straight season, the Eagles have swept their season series against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons winning all 3 matchups last season and both matchups this season.
– Tomorrow night?s game against Lloydminster will be the Eagles final game against a North Division opponent this season. The Eagles will play South Division teams for their last 15 contests of the regular season.
– The Eagles made a couple of moves today. To find out, check out Saturday?s story about all the transactions that were made this week.