The Canmore Eagles were in action last night for their final regular season home game versus the Drumheller Dragons. The Eagles were looking to build off their 3-2 win over the Okotoks Oilers on Family Day, but unfortunately, the Eagles found themselves down 4-0 in the 1st period, they had to chase the game the rest of the way and they ultimately fell to the Dragons by a score of 7-4. With the loss, the Eagles remain in 6th place in the AJHL South division with a record of 28-24-5 for 61 points. The Eagles are 2 points back of the Calgary Mustangs for 5th Place and 5 points back of the Camrose Kodiaks for 4th Place, the last spot for home ice advantage.
“We were asleep to start the game and then we woke up,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne regarding the team’s lacklustre first period. The Eagles were down 4-0 thirteen minutes into the period. Logan Dyck was the starting goalie, but he was pulled for Thomas Davis after the 3rd goal, as he gave up 3 goals on 9 shots. However, Coach Milne felt Dyck could not be blamed for those goals. Davis stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced, as the Dragons’ 7th goal was scored in an empty net.
The Eagles got on the board late in the 1st period on a goal from Tian Rask (16th) at 19:08. Colton Young and Jesse Sheen picked up the assists. In the 2nd period, Rask (17th) with his 2nd goal of the game scored on the Power Play at 8:29 got the Eagles within 2. Mark Drohan and Colton Young assisted. Drumheller went up 5-2 only 37 seconds later. Before the end of the 2nd period, the Eagles once again got within 2, thanks to a goal from rookie Forward Zach Carlson (5th) at 16:43. Daniel Anton and Kazu Prevost picked up the assists. In the 3rd period, the Dragons regained their 3-goal cushion, before the Eagles answered back on a goal from Captain Colton Young (26th) for his 3rd point of the night. Finn Withey and Brent Schuldhaus assisted. The Eagles pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, but the Dragons were able to put the game to bed with an empty net goal from Brayden Nicholetts. The final shots on goal were 39-34 in favour of the Dragons.
“We need to start better and avoid putting ourselves behind the 8-ball so that we are not chasing the game,” said Coach Milne.
The Eagles were without the services of Forwards Quinton Ong and Taden Rattie who are battling the flu bug. Coach Milne also mentioned that some players played ill or injured, but it is not an excuse.
The Eagles have 3 games left to play in the regular season and all 3 are on the road. The Eagles will travel to Calgary to take on the Canucks (9-47-1) on Tuesday night, before they head up to Camrose to play a doubleheader with the Kodiaks (30-20-6) on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2. The Eagles can still mathematically catch up the Kodiaks and earn home-ice advantage for the 1st Round of the playoffs, however, the team is more likely to start the playoffs on the road.
“If we have to start the playoffs on the road, then so be it,” said Coach Milne. “To be successful, you have to be able to win on the road and we have a gritty group that can do that.”
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– The Eagles’ home record this season is 14-12-4 and their away record is 14-12-1. But 1 of their home wins was actually a game played at the AJHL Showcase in Camrose. So if you count the 2 games played at the Showcase as road games, the Eagles’ record in games played at the Canmore Recreation Centre and Banff is 13-12-4 and away from the Bow Valley, the Eagles are 15-12-1.
– In comparison to last season, the Eagles were 14-16 at home and 7-21-2 on the road for an overall record of 21-37-2 for 44 points.
– The Eagles are having a community skate on the pond in Canmore today from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. Come join the Eagles for a community skate in Canmore and celebrate the Eagles’ 2018-19 season! McDonald’s will be providing hot chocolate and coffee to keep you warm! You can also check out the new 2019 GMC Denali from Can-Bow Motors.
– Tonight, the Eagles will have their annual Awards Banquet at the Cornerstone Theatre in Canmore.