EAGLES GET REVENGE ON THE KODIAKS AND MOVE ON TO ROUND 2
“Revenge is a dish best served cold”. An expression you have certainly heard before and one that applies to the Canmore Eagles team. Two years ago, the Eagles battled the Camrose Kodiaks in the opening round to the playoffs and were able to send the series to a decisive Game Seven at the Encana Arena in Camrose. The Eagles however fell short in that game. Fast forward two years later and the six Eagles players who were part of that game seven got a chance to redeem themselves with another series with the Kodiaks. This time, it was a different result as the Eagles with a complete team effort were able to knock off the Kodiaks by a score of 3-1 to eliminate their rivals and move on to the second round of the AJHL playoffs.
“I thought they were awesome, they were outstanding in every facet of the game. We worked hard, we were relentless on the puck, we were committed to blocking shots, we did a lot of good things. I couldn”™t identify one guy that was better than the rest of the group. It was a complete team win and I”™m really happy for the guys” says Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne.
The Eagles scored the first and only goal of the opening frame, as Mitchell Watson pounced on a rebound for his third of the playoffs. Vincent Scott and Ethan Schaeffer assisted.
Early in the second period, the Kodiaks tied the game with a goal from Jack Wolder at 1:52. But just after killing off a penalty, the Eagles regained the lead at 15:56 of the period as Vincent Scott completed a nice passing play with Isaac Suppin to make it 2-1 Eagles heading into the final frame. It was Scott”™s first goal and sixth point of the playoffs.
The Eagles added an insurance marker at 4:28 of the third courtesy of Carter Myrol”™s first of the postseason. Braden Plaschewsky and Emanuel Hudson assisted. Then the Eagles did a great job at shutting down the Kodiaks offence to hang on for the 3-1 victory and win the series 4 games to 3.
“It feels unreal” says Eagles 20-year old Forward Mitchell Watson after the game. “I”™ve gone Game five and Game seven against that team before and I think the boys all wanted a bit of redemption. All the boys chipped in, everybody wanted to win, we had a lot of adversity with our lineup and we got the job done”. Watson who started his AJHL career in the 2018-19 season with the Calgary Mustangs faced the Kodiaks in the opening round of the playoffs for the third time. And it was also the third time that his teams played in Camrose for a decisive game. With the Mustangs in 2019, they fell in Game five (Best-of-five) series. So third time was a charm for the versatile Eagles forward.
One player who was outstanding through all the series as he was through all the regular season is 19-year old netminder Andreai Proctor-Ramirez. In tonight”™s win, the Paradise Hill, SK native made 27 saves on 28 shots (Final shots were 29-28 for the Eagles).
“I feel we had momentum in a lot of the games, we just didn”™t get our bounces and we stayed resilient. The bounces ended up going our way in the last couple of games. We played an all-around great game, blocking shots, getting pucks out when we needed to. I was extremely happy with all of the guys and the effort they put in” says Proctor-Ramirez after the game. In this series, Proctor-Ramirez started all seven games, going 4-2 with a G.A.A. of 3.01 and a Save % of .914
Next up for the Eagles is an even bigger challenge as they will take on the no.1 team in Canada, the Brooks Bandits who finished the regular season with a league”™s best 52-6-2 record for 106 points.
The best-of-seven series will begin at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks for Games one & two on Friday and Saturday night. The series will then move to the Canmore Recreation Centre for Games three & four on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22 & 23.
AROUND THE AJHL PLAYOFFS:
The other South Division series will feature the 4th seeded Okotoks Oilers vs the 2nd seeded Drumheller Dragons.
In the North Division, it will be the Whitecourt Wolverines (6) vs the Spruce Grove Saints (3) and the Drayton Valley Thunder (4) will clash against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (2).
The first two games for every series are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday.
The Eagles will play games three and four at the Canmore Rec Center on Tuesday March 22,2022, and Wednesday March 23, 2022. Please visit the Eagles website to purchase tickets.