Down two of their best players, the Eagles knew other players were needed to step up. Tuesday night, while playing without the services of Alex Young who?s at the World Junior A Challenge and Max Giangualno who was handed 2-game suspension by the league, the Eagles had 12 different players contributing to the score sheet in an 8-1 win over the Calgary Canucks at the Canmore Rec Centre. The win improves the Eagles record to 11-17-4 for 26 points, however, the Eagles remain 5 points back of the Camrose for 4th place in the AJHL South who also won their game 5-4 against the Drumheller Dragons.
?I thought it was great to get good contribution from different players,? said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne.
The Eagles got themselves in the driver seat during the opening period when they scored 4 goals. Connor Lyons started off the Eagles goal spree when he scored at 3:53 with Zach Carlson and his younger brother Cale assisting. Then at the 6th-minute mark, Zach Carlson potted his 10th of the season. Connor Lyons and Lane Paddison received the assists. At 10:20, Owen Reith scored on the power play, his 6th of the season. Drae Gardiner and Cameron Sterling assisted. Then at 18:43, it was 16-year-old rookie Forward Tristan Zandee with Tristan Kimmen and Kazu Prévost assisting on the goal.
In the 2nd period, the Eagles didn?t let their foot off the gas pedal, as Connor Lyons scored his 2nd of the game and 22nd of the season at 5:16. Lane Paddison got the lone assist. Tristan Kimmen scored his 3rd of the season at 11:48 with Cale Lyons and Tayler Miller assisting. The Canucks got on the board at 17:44 on a power-play goal from Colin McPherson.
The Eagles added two more goals in the final frame. At 3:55, it was Ethan Schaeffer with his 6th of the season on the power play. Zandee and Sterling assisted. And at 15:31, it was Zandee with his 2nd of the game and 7th of the night to round out the scoring. Cale Lyons and Miller assisted.
Secondary scoring is something that the Eagles have struggled to get with consistency this season, but in the last 3 games, the Eagles have had that secondary scoring with the absence of Alex Young and Max Giangualno for the latter part.
?I think it?s great for their confidence,? said Coach Milne about the players contributing to the secondary scoring. ?Reith finally scored. Some of the younger players like Sterling, Kimmen and Zandee are contributing, there are positives those guys can build on and I hope that we can more consistent secondary scoring going forward.?
It was rookie netminder Devin Chapman who got the start and he stopped all but 1 shot on the 26 he faced. The shots on goal were 40-26 in favour of the Eagles.
The Eagles’ next game is on Saturday night when they host the Drumheller Dragons (17-13-3) at 7 pm. The games between those 2 teams are always exciting and tied as 7 of the last 8 games were decided by one goal, including 6 of those games going to Overtime.
?We will focus on our d-zone coverage at practice,? said Coach Milne. “We need to be sharper than the last time we played and hopefully we can have our secondary scoring can continue to contribute.?
WORLD JUNIOR A CHALLENGE UPDATE:
Alex Young and Team Canada West are back in action Wednesday night in Dawson Creek, BC as they take on Team Russia. Canada West is looking for their 1st win of the tournament after losing 3-2 to the USA on Saturday and 5-1 to Canada East on Sunday. You can watch the game on the Hockey Canada website: https://video.hockeycanada.ca/en/