A big challenge awaited the Canmore Eagles Friday night with the red hot Okotoks Oilers in town. The Eagles have been playing good hockey as of late having had 4 wins in their previous 5 games. Playing in front of 580 fans at the Canmore Rec Centre, the Eagles couldn?t stop the 2nd Place team in the AJHL South Division, as the Oilers skated to a 6-2 victory, which was their 9th consecutive win. With an impressive record of 37-6-3, the Oilers are only 2 points back of the 1st Place Brooks Bandits. The Eagles fall to 18-25-4 for 40 points and they remain 7 points back of the Camrose Kodiaks for 4th Place.
The Eagles had a rough opening period with the visiting Oilers scoring 4 times in that period with goals from Marc Pasemko, Seth Bernard-Docker (SH), Jack Works and Zane Kindrachuk (PP).
In the 2nd period, after Pasemko scored his 2nd of the night at 12:03, the Eagles got on the board on Banffite Kazu Prevost?s 6th of the season at 13:51. Drae Gardiner and Tayler Miller assisted.
In the 3rd period, Okotoks made it 6-1 on a goal from Dylan James at 3:07. The Eagles got a Power Play from Alex Young at 8:39, his 29th of the season. Zach Carlson and Connor Lyons assisted. But it was as close as the Eagles would get.
?I like the way we played in the last 2 periods,? said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. ?We got behind early, which is frustrating and tough to do, especially against a very good team like Okotoks. I thought that the line of Ethan Schaeffer, Tristan Zandee and Kazu Prevost was our best line.”
The final shots on goal were 41-34 in favour of Okotoks. The Eagles got the edge on shots in the 3rd period, outshooting Okotoks 16-6. Kadin Kilpatrick got the start between the pipes, but he was pulled for rookie Devin Chapman after giving up 3 goals on 7 shots. Chapman played the last 49:56 of the game and he made 31 saves on 34 shots.
The Eagles will look to bounce back Saturday night as they head to the Ken Bracko Arena in Calgary, to take on the Canucks (6-38-2). Game time is 5 pm. The Eagles have won 4 of the 6 meetings between the 2 teams, so far this season.
?We?re going to concentrate on us and not worry about them,? said Coach Milne. ?We will also look at doing some things better than we did [Friday] night.?
– After Saturday’s game, the Eagles won?t play again until next Saturday, February 1st, when they travel to Brooks to take on the Bandits (39-5-1). The Eagles will then host the Bandits for their next home game on Tuesday, February 4.