In front of a crowd of lively Aussie’s, Kiwi’s, Brit’s, American’s and of course some Canadian’s at Fenlands Arena in Banff, the Canmore Eagles put on a good performance as they downed the visiting Calgary Canucks 5-2 to even their season record at 1-1.
After a frustrating first game in Calgary two nights ago, Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne was very pleased with how his team responded in front of the packed crowd in Banff.
?I thought we were sharper tonight,? said Coach Milne. ?In our first game, I thought we were sloppy and didn?t execute very well. Tonight we were sharp, made some tape to tape passes and made some pretty good plays. At the end of the day that allowed us to have success.?
The Eagles were first on the board at 5:33 of the 1st period, when 16-year-old rookie Forward Tristan Zandee completed a 2-on-1 pass from Max Giangualano for his 1st career AJHL goal. The Canucks answered with a Power Play goal from Braydon Jenkins at 17:50 to make the score tied 1-1 after the 1st period.
The 2nd period saw the Eagles getting several good scoring chances, but they were unable to beat Canucks goalie and Canmore native Jay Thomson.
In the final frame, the Eagles were able to blow off the doors with 4 unanswered goals. At 6:58, Captain Tian Rask tipped in a point shot from Defenceman Brent Schauldhaus on the Power Play for his 1st goal of the season. Alex Young also picked up an assist. At 8:59, Zach Carlson blasted a shot from the right faceoff circle that eluded Canucks goalie Jay Thomson. Jared Bowman assisted on the goal. Then at 14:40, Owen Reith skated on a breakaway, beating Thomson, but the puck hit both posts. However, it was Alex Young who tucked in the rebound for his team-leading 3rd goal of the season, a shorthanded goal. Finally, at the 16th-minute mark, Connor Lyons scored his 2nd of the season with Rask and Young assisting. The Canucks added a goal from Matthew Brunton at 17:05, but that was as close as they would get.
?In the 3rd period, we just wanted to stick with our game plan,? said Coach Milne. ?We got a lot of good things in the first two that put in a position to be successful. It was a game that just stick with it and something is gonna bounce our way. Get the Power Play early and get a goal and put ourselves in a good position.?
Captain Tian Rask also spoke after saying, ?I think we just cleaned up our turnovers mostly, that?s where we were getting hurt and turnovers were causing our goals against. But we walked down, stuck to our game plan and goals started to pour in.?
Logan Dyck got the start between the pipes and the 3rd year veteran stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced. The final shots on goal were 42-32 for the home side.
Coach Milne was also pleased with the play of his defensive unit saying, ?I thought it was pretty good. It?s not an easy rink to play. It?s difficult because the angles are off, the sidelines are off, the zones are not the same size. It was tough, but we responded well to the defensive gameplay. We gave up a rebound goal, but other than that it was a good defensive game for us.?
Next up for the Eagles is a trip to Okotoks tomorrow night as they will take on the Oilers (2-1).
?We know they?re gonna be good,? said Coach Milne regarding tomorrow night?s game. “We just have to play our game and not worry about their game. We know that they are a new team this year. We have to establish ourselves as a team that can success against that team.?
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– Alex Young is having a terrific start to his season with 3 goals and 6 points in his first 2 games. Even though all the other teams have played 3 or 4 games, Young sits only 4 points behind the leader of the AJHL scoring race. He ranks 8th.
– The Eagles record in games played in Banff since the team started to make it a tradition in the 2014-15 season is 4-2-2.
– The Eagles will play their next 4 games away from the Bow Valley. The Eagles next home game is on Friday, October 4 vs the Sherwood Park Crusaders in Banff for Banff Pride Week! Puck drop is 7:00 pm.