For the 4th time this season, the Canmore Eagles and the Calgary Canucks battled each other. Despite the Canucks winning only twice this season in 15 games, both of their wins were against the Eagles. Tonight though, in front of 440 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre, the Eagles showed no mercy to the visiting Canucks as the Eagles soared to win the game by a score of 6-1. The win improves the Eagles record to 6-9-1 for 13 points. The Eagles remain 3 points back of the Camrose Kodiaks for 4th Place as the Kodiaks won their game against the Grande Prairie Storm.
The Eagles had some good scoring chances in the 1st period but they could not solve Canucks goalie and Canmore native Jay Thomson who made some great saves.
In the 2nd period, the Eagles were enjoying a 2-man advantage to start the period and were able to make the most of it when only 15 seconds in, Connor Lyons who has been hot lately and was also named the AJHL Player of this past week, sniped his 13th of the campaign. Lane Paddison and Max Giangualano assisted. Then only 32 seconds later, when the Eagles were still on the Power Play, Captain Tian Rask scored his 5th of the season with Alex Young and Dylan Witzke getting the assists. The Eagles were not done after getting those two Power Play goals, at 1:12 Banff native Kazu Prevost scored his 1st of the season to make it 3 goals in a span of 57 seconds. The Eagles added another one in the middle frame with Lane Paddison?s 4th of the season. Prevost and Giangualano assisted.
With the game getting out of reach for the visiting Canucks, the 3rd period featured a lot of physicality and lots of penalties. The Eagles made it 5-0 at 11:27 on Defenceman Brent Schuldhaus? 3rd of the season on a 2-on-1 with Michael Spafford. Cale Lyons also got an assist. Then it was Alex Young who scored a Power Play goal for his 12th of the season at 13:11.
In the last minutes of the game, the Eagles were trying to preserve netminder Kadin Kilpatrick?s bid for a shutout, but unfortunately, the goose egg was broken with 58 seconds left on the clock when Brayden Kapty scored on a 5-on-3. The final shots on goal were 43-27 in favour of the Eagles.
?I thought the Canucks were a little undisciplined in the 1st period and that things would sort itself out,? said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. ?I mean if they were going to take penalties and our power play was gonna click and at times we can be pretty successful on that. We told our guys to relax and we had some time to go discuss our 5 on 3 going in the 2nd period. We did that, we addressed it. When you give Connor Lyons time, he?s gonna score.?
Coach Milne also had praise for the performance of his netminder Kadin Kilpatrick who made 26 saves on 27 shots saying, ?I thought it was awesome, he settled in nicely. I thought his 1st game, he was a little shaky in Grande Prairie and he got a lot better in the Drumheller game. I thought tonight he was really good. He gave us a chance, he made some big saves. They had some good scoring chances and he was strong. I really wished the guys could have pulled that off for the shutout, but the penalties cost us there.?
Kilpatrick also spoke after the game saying, ?I thought that our team played a really good offensive game, so we spent a lot of time in their zone, which made it pretty easy for me for most of the game. But it was definitely tough for me in final last 5 minutes of the game with all those penalties and I was pretty upset when they scored, but I?ll get them back next time for sure.”
So far in his first 3 starts with the Eagles, Kilpatrick has a record of 2 wins and 1 overtime loss and he has allowed only 7 goals. Although he?s been with the team for less than 2 weeks, he says that he?s liking what he?s seeing from the team. ?We have a good team I think. A lot of the guys are close to each other. I think when the season goes on, we?re gonna get closer and closer in and our intensity will start increasing every single day. We?ll start winning a lot of games. Hopefully, we?ll have a lot of success.?
The Eagles now get the rest of the weekend off. Something they are welcoming as they just had a busy stretch of 8 games in 15 days. The Eagles’ next game will be a big test challenge as the national defending champions Brooks Bandits come to town with their perfect record of 16-0 on Tuesday night.
?We’ve got a good opportunity to refresh,? said Coach Milne. ?We played 16 games here and we?ve been going pretty hard for the first two months of the season. For us, it?s a weekend to refresh and get ourselves mentally prepared to go to where we know will a tough task. They?re the defending national champions and a team that?s 16-0 to start the year, so we?re gonna have to do well in every facet of the game in order to be successful on Tuesday night.”
Puck drop for Tuesday night?s game is 7 pm.
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– Connor Lyons is on a 5-game goal streak and so far this season, the 20-year-old Forward has lit the lamp in 12 of his 16 games!
– After playing Brooks on Tuesday night, the Eagles will host the Camrose Kodiaks, the team they are chasing in the standings for a doubleheader next weekend (Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2).
– Before the start of Friday’s game, the team paid a tribute to the Pauls family. The team?s captains Tian Rask, Owen Reith, Jared Bowman and Alex Young came off the ice after the player?s introduction to have a picture taken with Gaye and Ken Pauls Sr.