PHOTO: Canmore’s Matt Forchuk tries his best to get his stick on a loose puck but was unable to score on Oiler’s goaltender Nic Renyard during Game 2 of the AJHL playoffs in Okotoks on Friday night. (Photo courtesy of Mark Neustaedter)
UPCOMING PLAYOFF GAMES:
GAME THREE: Sunday, March 8 in Canmore at 5 PM
GAME FOUR: Monday, March 9 in Canmore at 7 PM (If necessary)
Suddenly, it’s “DO OR DIE” time for the Canmore Eagles Junior A Hockey club.
Following a script that was remarkably similar to Thursday night’s 2-1 loss in Game One, the Canmore Eagles once again came up with a solid effort but fell just short as the Okotoks Oilers dropped the Eagles 3-2 in Game Two of their Alberta Junior Hockey League playoff series.
The Eagles now trail the best-of-five opening round playoff series 2-0 with Game Three set for the Canmore Recreation Centre on Sunday, March 8 at 5 pm. Game 4, if necessary, would also be played in Canmore on Monday, March 9 at 7 PM.
Like Game One on Thursday night, the difference in Friday night’s game once again came down to specialty team play as the Oilers scored two powerplay goals on their four opportunities, while the Eagles went 0-4 while enjoying the man advantage.
In their two playoff games in Okotoks, Canmore has now gone 0-10 on the powerplay, while the Oilers have scored three powerplay goals on nine opportunities.
In Friday’s 3-2 loss, Canmore outshot the Oilers by a 30-28 margin but were continually thwarted by Oiler’s netminder Nic Reynard who continues to display the form that earned him the AJHL’s Most Valuable Player Award this year.
“We played another very solid road game, but their goaltender once again came up with some timely saves and we just don’t seem to be getting any puck luck around their net,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “Offensively, we are generating plenty of scoring opportunities, but we just haven’t been able to capitalize. I think we deserved a better fate than being down 2-0 in the series, but it is, what it is. We’re coming back to our barn and hopefully we can turn the tide on them. It’s a best of five series, so they haven’t won anything yet. Hopefully we’ll have a big home crowd on Sunday afternoon and we’ll do our best to get back into the series.”
Scoring for Canmore in Friday night’s loss was Lane Olson, his second of the playoffs, and Kurt Hildebrand.
NOTEBOOK: Advanced tickets to Sunday’s home game will be on sale at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Saturday, March 7 from 2-6 pm. The ticket booth will also open at 2 pm on Sunday, March 8. Game time on Sunday is 5 PM.