Saturday, November 17, 2012 – The Canmore Eagles fell 4-3 to the Drayton Valley Thunder in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played last night before 444 fans in Drayton Valley.
The Eagles, who were outshot 34-24 on the night, received goals from Braeden Music (#2 ), Luke Simpson (#8 ) and Nils Moser (#5).
With the loss, the Eagle’s overall record slips to 10-8-4, good enough for fifth-place in the bunched-up AJHL Southern Division standings. Despite the loss, Canmore remains just four points behind the second-place Okotoks Oilers and still enjoy two games in hand on the Oilers.
“We just didn’t have things go our way last night,” said Eagle’s head coach and general manager Andrew Milne. “We were just average to start, slipped a bit in the second period, and played hard in the third period, but it was too little, too late. We had too many passengers and that is not acceptable when you are already short staffed to begin with. Our leaders led tonight, but unfortunately, our followers forgot to follow.”
The Eagle’s “three games in 2 ½ day” northern division road trip continues Saturday night with a very difficult game in Grande Prairie against the Storm.
Grande Prairie is the hottest team in the AJHL right now having won nine in a row, including an emotionally charged 4-1 home-ice victory over the previously undefeated Brooks Bandits last night. It was the first defeat for the Bandits in 21 games this season. The Storm enjoyed a home-town crowd of 2,500 for their emotionally charged victory over the Bandits last night.
“We better be ready to play hard for 60 minutes tonight or it could be a very long evening for us,” said Milne. “Grande Prairie is a very difficult place to play to start with, but they are playing at the top of their game right now. We can’t afford to have any passengers.”
Following tonight’s game in Grande Prairie, the Eagles will then head to Whitecourt for another equally difficult match against the Wolverines on Sunday afternoon. The Wolverines are 12-5-7 this season and have lost just twice at home in 11 games.
NOTEBOOK: Eagle’s leading point getter Zack Rassell returned to the lineup last night after missing the past five games with a lower body injury. Rookie defenceman Ashton McLeod also returned to the lineup after missing the past 9 games with a shoulder injury. Missing from the Eagle lineup last night with various injuries were the team’s leading goal scorer Steven Phee and Jeremy Margeson. Goaltender Ty Swabb, who hasn’t seen any game action since Oct. 27, dressed as the back-up to Cam Barnes.