NEXT HOME GAME – Friday, January 25 versus Camrose Kodiaks
Wednesday, January 23 – The Canmore Eagles used their special teams to their advantage on Wednesday night as they scored three power-play goals and converted on a penalty shot to defeat the home town Drumheller Dragons by a 5-1 score in Alberta Junior Hockey League action played before 665 fans.
It was the Eagle's third consecutive victory over Drumheller this season and moves them to within seven points of the fourth-place Dragons in the battle for home-ice advantage in the upcoming first-round of the AJHL Southern Division playoffs. The Eagles enjoy three games in hand on the Dragons and will meet Drumheller three more times before the regular season ends on March 1.
Zack Rassell (19), Johnny Stevens (2), and Trey Phillips (2) all scored 5-3 power play goals in just over two minutes of action late in the second period and Luke Simpson (16) scored on a penalty shot with just nine seconds remaining to give the Eagles a commanding 4-0 lead after two periods.
The two teams exchanged single goals in the third period with Drumheller’s Ryan Aasman ruining Eagle netminder Ty Swabb’s shut-out bid, and Canmore’s Connor Wilson rounding out the scoring with his 6th of the season.
Swabb kept his team in the game in the early going as the Eagles were outshot 11-5 in the first period and 35-22 overall. Swabb has now won three of his four starts since returning from a high ankle sprain injury and saw his overall record improve to 8-3-2.
“We got caught standing around a lot in the first period and relied on Swabb to keep us in the game,” said Eagle's Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “But he does what he always does – stays calm and makes things look easy. After the first period, we told our guys to stay disciplined and let Drum get frustrated, which they did. They took some penalties and we capitalized. We actually put a lot of hard work in on the powerplay during the past few days and the guys were rewarded as they executed very well. In the third period we just tried to control the ice and keep them to the oustide. Connor Wilson and Jeremy Margeson also did a great job on the penalty kill as they blocked some key shots for us.”
The Eagles, now 19-20-5, will try to get back to .500 when they host the Camrose Kodiaks at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Friday, January 25. The Kodiaks have beaten the Eagles in all three games this season by scores of 3-2 (Nov. 23), 5-2 (Nov. 24) and 7-2 (Dec. 14). Canmore have won their last five home games. Game time is 7 pm.
NOTEBOOK – With their victory in Drumheller, Canmore has now won nine of their last 10 games. . .Zack Rassell, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Tuesday, also picked up two assists last night and was the named the Eagle’s “Star of the Game”. Rassell leads the Eagles in scoring with 38 points in 38 games played. . . Missing from the Eagle’s lineup last night were forwards Simon Philp, Austen Hebert, Kyle Pauls and defenceman Nikolas Kosman. Dylan Houston and Colton Sandboe were called up for the game.
PHOTO: ZACK RASSELL HAD A THREE POINT NIGHT IN DRUMHELLER.
Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson