After winning the first game of their road weekend doubleheader against the Camrose Kodiaks 4-2 on Friday night, the Eagles were unfortunately not able to get the same result in the 2nd game. The Kodiaks won Saturday night’s contest with a 5-2 victory. And the win allows the Kodiaks to regain their 5-point cushion over the Eagles for 4th Place in the AJHL South Division. The Eagles record drops to 10-17-4 for 24 points.
The Eagles who were missing the services of Alex Young also lost Forward Max Giangualano at the 6-minute mark of the game when he was ejected from the game for a taking 5-minute major penalty for Boarding.
?We started off the game shorthanded for a violation during warmup, then Max gets kicked out of the game, then we were 2 men short at one point in the 2nd period,? said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. ?It sucks that we spent a lot of time playing shorthanded. We made 3 mistakes and they scored on all 3.?
Despite spending time killing penalties and being outshot 15-2, the Eagles were able to get out of the 1st period scoreless
However, early in the 2nd period, the Kodiaks struck first on a goal from Erik Miller only 53 seconds into the period. At 9:22, Connor Brock scored to make it 2-0 Kodiaks. The Eagles got on the board at 18:13 on Mitchell Watson?s 8th goal of the season and his 3rd in 2 games since joining the Eagles last Sunday. Lane Paddison and Ethan Schaeffer got the assists. The Kodiaks regained their 2-goal lead before the end of the middle frame on a goal from Damon Zimmer at 18:45.
In the 3rd period, the Kodiaks extended their lead on a goal from Blake Kondor at 3:08. The Eagles got within two goals courtesy of Zach Carlson?s 9th goal of the season. Connor Lyons and Dylan Witzke assisted. But it was as close as the Eagles would get, as Connor Brock scored on an empty net at 19:15 for his 2nd of the game.
One unit that struggled for most of the season, but that has been good lately is the Eagles penalty kill. In the last 4 games, the Eagles have only given up 2 goals in the 16 times they played a man short. ?We?ve put in a lot of effort and we are getting rewarded,? said Coach Milne. “We have improved in some areas. Our power play has been struggling a bit lately, but without Alex and Max, we knew we would be.?
It was Kadin Kilpatrick who was in net for the 4th consecutive game and he stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced. The final shots on goal were 37-23 in favour of Camrose.
The Eagles have 5 games left to play before the Christmas break with 3 of those at the Canmore Rec Centre. The Eagles’ next game is on Tuesday night when they host the Calgary Canucks (5-27-1). Despite the Canucks record, the Eagles can’t take them lightly as the Canucks have defeated the Eagles twice this season. This past weekend, the Canucks did well with an overtime win over Olds on Friday night and a 2-1 loss to the high powered Okotoks Oilers last night.
?They will come hard, so we better be ready,? said Coach Milne.
The other 2 home games for the Eagles before the Christmas break will be on Saturday, December 14 vs the Drumheller Dragons and on Friday, December 20 vs the Camrose Kodiaks.
WORLD JUNIOR CHALLENGE UPDATE:
– Last night in Dawson Creek, BC, Alex Young and Team Canada West opened up their tournament against Team USA. Unfortunately, Team Canada West fell just short, losing 3-2. Alex though got an assist. The next game for Canada West is Sunday against Team Canada East at 7 pm. You can watch the game on the Hockey Canada website.