There are teams in the AJHL that are always a big challenge and one of those teams is the Brooks Bandits. On Saturday night the Eagles travelled to Brooks to battle the Bandits for the 1st time since the two teams met in the 2nd Round of the AJHL Playoffs last March. The Eagles who were able to end the Bandits? winning streak of 35 games in Game 3 of that series were unable to end the Bandits? season unbeaten streak, as Brooks improves to 11-0 with a 7-1 win. They are the last team in the AJHL to remain undefeated. The Eagles, on the other hand, see their early-season record drop to 4 wins and 6 losses and remain in 5th Place in the AJHL South Division 4 points back of 4th Place Camrose and 6 points back of 3rd Place Drumheller.
The Eagles were able to get on the board first when Captain Tian Rask scored his 4th of the season with Max Giangualano and Finn Withey picking up the assists. The Bandits scored 7 unanswered goals, including 3 from their Captain Jakob Lee. The Bandits scored twice in the 1st period, 4 times in the middle frame and once in the final frame. They outshot the Eagles by a 45-20 margin.
Eagles rookie netminder Devin Chapman got the start between the pipes for the 2nd consecutive night and he made 38 saves.
Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne was satisfied with the performance of his netminder saying, ?I thought Devin was good. He made some big saves. We had too many turnovers, made too many mistakes. Two of their goals were tips in and they also had three goals on two-on-ones.?
Chapman is currently the only goalie on the Eagles roster as the team announced yesterday that 20-year old veteran Logan Dyck was traded to the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations. The team is expected to bring in a new goalie and the announcement should be made on Monday.
Also yesterday, the Eagles added a new player to their roster. The player is 18-year-old Forward Cam Sterling from Calgary, AB. Sterling is no stranger to the Eagles organization as 2 seasons ago, he was an affiliate while he was playing Midget AAA with the Calgary Buffaloes and he suited up for 2 games with the Eagles. Last season, he played in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
?Cam is a big strong kid, he plays heavy and he?s got experience,? said Coach Milne. “I thought he played a good 1st game last night and he is a good addition to our club.?
The Eagles continue their 5-game trip on Tuesday night as they head to Ken Bracko Arena in Calgary to take on the Canucks (1-11-1). The Eagles will then head North for a 3-game in 3 days road trip next weekend against the Drayton Valley Thunder (3-7-1), the Grande Prairie Storm (6-7) and the Whitecourt Wolverines (6-4-2).
After the first 10 games of the regular season, Coach Milne feels there is an improvement to be made saying, “We made some adjustments with our lineup. Our offence and our Power Play are there, but we need to keep pucks out of our net and get pucks out of our end.?