Eagles stumble

Eagles stumble

Back on home ice, the Canmore Eagles weren’t able to duplicate the success they had on their northern Alberta Junior Hockey League road swing the previous weekend. Coming off a three-game winning streak, the Eagles lost three times – two on home ice and once on the road – this past week.

Storm 5 at Eagles 4 (OT)

Canmore fought back to tie this game on two occasions but were unable to find the winner, eventually losing during the 3-on-3 tie-breaker scenario on Thursday, Oct. 12 at the Canmore Recreation Centre.

The big news in this game was the expulsion of defenceman and team leading scorer Brody Tallman for a slashing major with five minutes to play in the second period. The Eagles captain would subsequently be suspended for two games, taking him out of the weekend’s action. The 20-year-old leader had one goal and two assists before being ejected to give him six goals and 10 points on the season in 10 games.

Kayden Rawji scored his first two goals of the season while Rhett Dekowny’s second of the campaign tied the game at 4-4 forcing overtime.

Grande Prairie opened a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Tyler Dale and Matt Corbet. Rawji then scored his first of the game at 13:10. Teammate Casey Black pinched in from the point to keep the puck active in the Storm zone after Tallman’s shot sailed wide of the goal, and the puck bounced to Rawji near the bottom of the left-wing, face-off circle, who quickly pulled the trigger beating the goaltender short side. The Storm would renew their two-goal lead with a power-play marker from Zachary Wilson with just 17 second remaining in the period.

In the second period, Rawji scored his second goal at 2:51, grabbing the rebound off a Tallman point shot and firing it quickly into the open side of the net. It was then Tallman’s turn to light the lamp, scoring at 7:42, with his shot from the high slot partially stopped by the Storm goaltender before sliding over the goal line. Grande Prairie would regain the lead on Tomis Marinkovic’s goal just 20 seconds into the major penalty to Tallman, that would subsequently see him miss the next seven period of hockey.

There was still to be another Eagles’ highlight in this game, Dekowny, with the lone goal of the third period would knot the game at 4-4 just 1:27 into the third period. His second goal of the season came off a feed from the behind the goal line by Zach Coutu, with Dekowny batting it quickly in the goal from the low slot.

The game would then go to overtime with Alex Atwill scoring 3:25 into the extra session, with his shot sailing just under the cross bar from the right-wing side of high slot.

Grand Prairie outshot Canmore 36-34 with Matthew Malin in goal for the Eagles and Austin Dubinsky in goal for the Storm.

On the power play, Canmore went 1-for-5 while Grande Prairie were 2-for-2.

Eagles 1 at Bulldogs 6

In Blackfalds on Friday, Oct. 13, Canmore was unable to tame high-flying Blackfalds and were held to just a dozen shots in the game.

The Bulldogs scored once in the first period, four times in the second period and once more in the third frame enroute to their ninth win in 11 games. Following the weekend, they hold a share of first place with the Brooks Bandits and Sherwood Park Crusaders, all on 20 points.

AJHL scoring leader Dakota MacIntosh scored twice for Blackfalds, with singles from Layne Loomer, Edward Moskowitz, Otto Hanson and Brendan Ross. MacIntosh, who was acquired from Brooks on Sept. 25 has 10 goals and 21 points on the season.

Canmore’s lone goal came from Owen Jones, his second of the season, at 16:29 of the second period with Blackfalds leading 5-0.  Jones cashed in a 2-on-1 with Josh Hoeskstra, receiving a pass on the right wing and glaring at an open net it was an easy deposit for the lone Eagles’ goal.

Blackfalds outshot Canmore 43-12 in the game with John MacPherson starting and surrendering five goals on 21 shots, giving way to Malin who faced 22 shots in the final 29:02. Ethan Morrow was in goal for the Bulldogs.

On the power play, Blackfalds was 3-for-6 and Canmore was 0-for-5.

Wolverines 7 at Eagles 0

Canmore fell behind early and were never able to make up ground on a determined Whitecourt squad who received outstanding goaltending from Ben Charette, making 36 saves to record his first junior A shutout.

Each team had come into the game with four wins through 11 games. Whitecourt scored once in the first period, added four more in the second period and closed the game out with two third-period goals.

Colby Browne – with the game’s first and final goals – and Kaiden Wiltsie led the scoring parade, each with two goals – with Wiltsie’s second of the game coming on a penalty shot. Singles came from Travis Verbeek, Braden Keeble and Jarred Feist.

Whitecourt took 38 shots on the Canmore goal, with Malin facing 26 over the first 40 minutes and MacPherson taking over the netminder duties for the final 20 minutes.

Canmore went 0-for-6 on the power play while Whitecourt was 1-for-1. The Eagles failed to score on any of their 13 power play chances while Tallman – who had registered four goals and one assist on the power play this season – was out of the lineup.

Canmore is now 4-6-1-1 on the season, placing them 13th in the 16-team loop but there are still 50 more games to be played.

Eagles’ fans got a first peek at the team’s latest acquisition Nathan Look on Sunday afternoon. Look was acquired from the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Oct. 12, where he played 58 games over the past two seasons registering six goals and 31 points. Leaving the club to make room for Look was a former teammate Cole Wirun, who returns to his alma mater the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Wirun and Look were dominant teammates on the Wilcox, Sask. school’s U18 squad in the 2021-22 season registering 69 (28G-41A) and 68 (19G-49A) points respectively.

Tallman will be a welcome return to the line-up this coming weekend when Canmore heads to the northwest of Alberta for its second three games in three days road trip this month, taking on Grande Prairie on Friday, Oct. 20 at noon, Whitecourt on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. and Drayton Valley on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m.