The Canmore Eagles gave it everything they had but still came out on the short end of a tough4-3 loss to the Whitecourt Wolverines in their opening game of the Alberta Junior Hockey League Showcase event on Thursday afternoon in Spruce Grove, AB.
The Eagles came out flying and enjoyed a 1-0 lead after one period of play and outshot the Wolverines by a 14-8 margin.
But just like Tuesday night’s home game against the Olds Grizzlys, Canmore sagged in the second period and gave up three unanswered goals to the Wolverines, including two on the power-play.
Canmore outscored the Wolverines 2-1 in the third period to make it close, but simply ran out of time to complete their comeback.
“We had a much better effort today,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “The guys responded well after what wasn't a very plesant post game talk after Tuesday night's loss. We had effort and compete today but had some lapses in the second period and it cost us. We need to learn to capitalize on our early chances and that would give us a better chance for success as the game goes on.”
Luke Simpson (7th), Simon Philp, and Trey Phillips (3rd) had the Eagle goals.
Ryan Ferguson got the start for the Eagles in goal and made several key stops to keep the Eagles in the game. Canmore was outshot 34-32.
With the loss, the Eagles early season record falls to 3-4. They will play the Calgary Canucks in Game Two of their Showcase Weekend event on Friday afternoon with the puck dropping at 12 noon.
NOTEBOOK: After missing the club’s first six games of the season, defenceman Johnny Stevens returned to the Eagles lineup for the Wolverine game. . . Fellow Eagle defenceman Jakob Lavoie left Thursday’s game in the first period with an upper body injury and did not return. . . Luke Simpson was named the Eagle’s Star of the Game. . .Eagles captain Nils Moser missed the game due to one-game AJHL suspension for his game misconduct on Tuesday night.