Eagles power past Thunder

The Canmore Eagles' power play overwhelmed the Drayton Valley Thunder on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles scored goals on each of their first three man-advantage situations in this Alberta Junior Hockey League matchup and went on to defeat the host Thunder 6-2.

“I thought we played well,” said Andrew Milne, Eagles GM and head coach. “We came out after being flat [Saturday, 7-2 loss to Whitecourt Wolverines] and got rewarded in the first period.

“(The game) got away from us a little bit [in the third period] but we were playing three games in 2 1/2 days.”

Brett Stewart, with his second in as many games and fifth on the season, and Coy Prevost (his 9th this season) scored first-period, power-play goals. Mitch Zambon (2) made it 3-0 before the opening period ended.

Adam Tisale (7) scored a second period, power-play marker to make it 4-0 after 40 minutes.

“We have high-end skill, so we know the power play is going to be good,” said Milne.

It was the AJHL best last season and is moving up the ranks this season. The three power-play goals on four chances has the special teams operating at a third-best 26.60 per cent. The 25 goals is a league-best mark. Even more impressive is the team's road percentage, which is 31.37 per cent (second best behind the Bonnyville Pontiacs at 34.62 per cent). The road power play has 16 goals while no other team in the league has gotten into double figures.

In the third period, Colby Livingstone (8) followed by Logan Ferguson (12) with an empty net, shorthanded goal with less than nine seconds to play wrapped up the scoring for the Eagles.

The Thunder did not go quietly after being outplayed the first two periods, outshooting the Eagles 21-3 and scoring twice in the final period. Braden Jakubowski (3) and Marcus Walter (2) sandwiched Livingstone's goal.

Drayton Valley finished the game with a 43-30 edge in shots. Ryan Bontorin was in goal for the Eagles. Parker Tobin was between the posts for the Thunder.

Canmore returns home having won two of the three games played during this weekend road trip. On Friday, the Eagles edged the Grande Prairie Storm 4-3 in a shootout. On Saturday, Whitecourt, as previously related, thumped Canmore with Joseph Nardi's hat trick leading the way for the home side.

“I would have thought we would have learned a better lesson [after posting a 3-1 win over Whitecourt on home ice Oct. 13]. We started flat. They came out pretty hard,” said Milne. “Three wins would have been nice but we will take two now.”

Games on the road is a theme through the first eight days of November, with the Eagles at the South Division-leading Calgary Canucks (13-4-1) on Thursday (7 p.m., Max Bell Centre) and Nov. 8 versus the Oilers (currently 10-5-2) in Okotoks (7 p.m., Pason Centennial Arena).

EAGLES NEST: Matt Forchuk picked up one assist, on Stewart's goal, and now has a league leading 30 points (11G-19A). … Ferguson's goal moved him into solo second in league scoring with 24 points (12G-12A). … Livingstone climbed back into the top 10 in league scoring at 22 points (8G-14A). … Drayton Valley went 0-for-2 on the power play and took four minor penalties, two in each of the first two periods. Canmore was 3-for-4 and took three minor penalties, all in the third period. … Canmore went 6-3-1 for the month of October, with another 10 games (3 at home and 7 on the road) scheduled for November.



For more from Russ at the Crag and Canyon: http://www.thecragandcanyon.ca/2016/10/30/eagles-power-past-thunder