Unfortunately, the Canmore Eagles’ exciting 2018-19 season came to an end Friday night in Brooks. The Brooks Bandits won Game 5 by a score of 4-0 to win the South Semi-Final series 4 games to 1. The Bandits will now take on the Okotoks Oilers in the South Final.
After taking the #1 ranked team in Canada to Overtime, in Game 3 & 4 in Canmore, the Eagles battled hard to keep their season alive, just like they’ve done all playoffs.
Brooks scored at 7:38 of the 1st period to open the scoring. After that, the Bandits had opportunities to extend their lead, but Eagles netminder Thomas and the Eagles defence were able to keep the Bandits at bay.
The score remained 1-0 at the end of the 2nd period. In the 3rd period though, the Bandits were able to score 3 goals to put the game out of reach for the Eagles and to seal the victory.
The Bandits outshot the Eagles 47-11, with Thomas Davis making 43 saves.
Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne had nothing but praise for his group when talking about the team’s great run that just ended saying, “I’m very proud of our guys. They showed a lot of character. They played their best Hockey in the series against Drumheller. In this series against Brooks, after losing the first 2 games by a blowout, the team could have folded, but they did not and they played their hearts out in front of our fans in Game 3 & 4.”
The end of the Eagles season marks the end of the Junior career of 7 players who are graduating from the program. 20-year-old netminder Thomas Davis, Defencemen Mark Drohan, Daly Hamilton and Jesse Sheen, Forwards Colton Young and Taden Rattie and 19-year-old Forward Quinton Ong who is off to the NCAA (Yale University). Colton Young is also moving on to the NCAA (Colgate University).
“In the Playoffs, you need your 20-year-olds to be your best players,” said Coach Milne. “Our 20 year-olds played their hearts out, they provided great leadership and with this playoff run, the foundation has been laid out for the upcoming seasons. The experience the players who will be returning gained will be very valuable. Logan Dyck will be better next season due to Thomas Davis and so on. Our 20-year-olds are good ambassadors and great role models to our community.”
The Canmore Eagles would like to thank our 7 graduating players for all their hard work and contributions to the team and the community. Our graduating players will all be missed and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– In the regular season, the Eagles went to Overtime in 9 of their 60 games. In the Playoffs, the Eagles played extra Hockey in 6 of their 10 games.
– In the 5-game series vs Brooks, Thomas Davis faced a total of 240 shots and he made 217 saves. He finished the playoffs with a great Save % of .918. Davis also received a standing ovation from Brooks fans in Game 5.
– In the last 6 seasons, the Brooks Bandits have won all of their 2nd Round playoff series in a sweep, except for 2. The Eagles being the 2nd team to force a game 5.
– Quinton Ong was the team’s leading scorer in the Playoffs. The 19-year-old from Saskatoon who is off to Yale University next season had 7 goals and 2 assists in 10 games, including 2 Game winning goals and 3 Power Play goals.
– Now that the season is over, the team’s next events on the schedule are the Spring Camps. The Eagles will hold their 1st Spring Camp on the weekend of April 12, 13 & 14. The 2nd Spring Camp will be on the weekend of April 26, 27 & 28.
AJHL PLAYOFF UPDATE:
As mentioned above, the South Final is set with the Brooks Bandits taking on the Okotoks Oilers. It will be the 3rd straight year that the 2 teams will meet in the South Final and the series is expected to begin next Friday, March 29.
In the North Division, the defending champions Spruce Grove Saints are still waiting to find out who they will face in the North Final. The North Division 1st place team, the Sherwood Park Crusaders had a chance to advance last night, but the Fort McMurray Oil Barons were able to hold off elimination and force a Game 6 in Fort Mac Sunday night with a 3-2 Overtime win. The North Final is also expected to start on Friday night.