After being on the road for the last 4 games, the Canmore Eagles were back in front of the home crowd of the Canmore Recreation Centre against the high powered Spruce Grove Saints. Unfortunately, the Eagles were on the wrong side of the scoreboard, losing 4-3 to the Saints in front of 550 fans in attendance. With the loss, the Eagles see their record drop to 8-13-3 for 19 points and they remain 3 points back of the Camrose Kodiaks for 4th place in the AJHL South Division.
?I thought we were ok tonight, there are some areas we can definitely improve on,? said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. ?I thought they came with a lot of speed and it caused some problems for our D and we took some penalties, and then we were kind of chasing behind on those, but overall I think we had a lot of good things going our way and probably could have won that game as well as they did.?
The Eagles had a strong start to the game scoring the first goal of the game only 1:48 into the opening frame and they were outshooting the Saints 5-1 in the early goings. It was Cam Sterling with his 2nd of the season who got the Eagles on the board with Brent Schuldhaus and Zach Carlson getting the assists. The Saints tied the game on a power-play goal from Cole Basnett at 12:49. The Eagles though regained the lead on a goal from Michael Spafford at 14:44, as he tipped in a shot from Kazu Prevost for his 3rd of the season. Tristan Zandee also assisted on the goal.
In the 2nd period, it was the visitors who had the better scoring chances, but despite that, they only managed to get one past Eagles Kadin Kilpatrick, which came from the stick of Graham Gamache at 12:25 and the two teams went back to the locker room tied 2-2.
In the 3rd period, the Saints took the lead for the first time in the game on a power-play goal from Cam Mitchell at 1:01. Then at 4:18, the Saints added to their lead on a goal from Stanley Cooley. The Eagles answered back on Captain Tian Rask?s 7th goal of the season who was celebrating his 20th birthday. Jared Bowman assisted on the goal. But that was all she wrote for scoring, as the Eagles were unable to find the equalizer.
The final shots on goal were 42-19 in favour of the Saints. Kadin Kilpatrick who was the Eagles starting goalie had another great performance as he made 38 saves.
?Kadin was outstanding tonight,” said Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “He did a good job of keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win. That?s what you ask your goalie, you want a chance to win and he did that.?
One thing that Coach Milne would like to see his team improve on is intensity.
?We’ve got to be intense for the full 60. We saw 2 really good hockey clubs that competed at another level. We have to compete at that level night in and night out, in order to be successful. We can?t take any shifts off and plays off and time off, any back checks off, nothing. And we got caught watching tonight at times and it cost us.?
The Eagles will look to get back in the win column on Monday night, as they host the another North Division team, the Drayton Valley Thunder (8-12-4). Puck drop is 7 pm.
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– After Monday night?s game, the Eagles will travel to Drumheller on Friday night to take on the Dragons, before returning home for a 3-game homestand to close out the month of November against the Okotoks Oilers, Whitecourt Wolverines and Bonnyville Pontiacs.
Photo from Pam Doyle Photography