PHOTO – Recently acquired 20-year-old defenceman Braiden Doucette scored in the overtime shoot-out to give the Eagles a 6-5 victory over Okotoks on Tuesday night. (Noel Rogers photo)
The Canmore Eagles battled back from 3-1 and 4-2 deficits to eventually defeat the visiting Okotoks Oilers 6-5 in an overtime shoot-out Tuesday night at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
With the victory, the Eagles have now won three straight games and have improved their early Alberta Junior Hockey League record to 3-2. The Oilers, who came to Canmore pumped up after defeating the Brooks Bandits by a 4-2 score in Brooks on Saturday night, fell to 2-1-1.
Newly acquired 20-year-old defenceman Braiden Doucette was the hero for the Eagles as he scored the eventual game winner in the seventh-round of the shoot-out. Logan Ferguson and Brett Schimmel also scored in the shoot-out to keep the Eagles hopes alive.
During regulation time, Canmore received goals from rookies Jacob Ashton (1st) and Nicholas Wihak (1st) while veterans Brett Radford (3rd), Kyle Pauls (2nd) and Matt Forchuk (3rd) rounded out the scoring. Canmore netminder Ryan Gilchrist improved his overall record to 3-1 by stopping 30 of 35 Oiler shots during regulation time and making several key stops during the overtime and shoot-out.
The recent arrival of Doucette, who scored a key goal for the Eagles in his first game against the Drumheller Dragons last Saturday, has proven to be a strong addition to the Eagles roster.
“We just decided to play with a never give up attitude and we kept chipping away at them,” said Doucette, who registered 32 points for the Bonnyville Pontiacs last season. “You just have to make sure the young guys know the importance of these games early in the season. These games are going to separate first from third by two or three points, so every point matters.”
“Our group played with some real character tonight,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “It’s a good sign to see the boys battle back like that and I think we are going to get better as the season moves along. The addition of Doucette has been very positive for us both on the ice and in dressing room.”
The Eagles will now head out on the road for four consecutive games with tilts in Drumheller on Friday, Sept. 25, Olds on Tuesday, Sept. 29 and two games at the AJHL Showcase weekend featuring Grand Prairie (Oct. 2) and Sherwood Park (Oct. 3). The Showcase games will be played in Camrose.
NOTEBOOK: Kyle Pauls was named the Eagles “Star of the Game” last night . . .Matt Forchuk leads the club in scoring with six points in five games, while Logan Ferguson, Brett Radford, Kyle Pauls, Lane Olson and Brett Schimmel all have five points. . . .The Eagles annual Town Party fundraiser takes place this Saturday night at the Canmore Golf and Curling Club. The night will feature two great local bands (Sully’s Garage and Cronic), snacks, live auction, silent auction, door prizes and will be emceed by Calgary Flame announcer Beesley. Tickets are just $25 and will be available at the door.