Lost Weekend

Sei Spo Press

The Canmore Eagles had a chance to separate themselves from the bottom three teams in the South Division of the Alberta Junior Hockey League on the weekend but came up empty handed in its doubleheader with the Camrose Kodiaks.

In games between these division rivals on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 13-14) at the Canmore Recreation Centre, the Eagles came up short in two tightly matched contests and have fallen to sixth place, two points back of the Kodiaks.

On Friday, Camrose emerged with a 4-2 victory, rallying back with three goals in the final 5½ minutes of the third period.

The teams were tied at 1-1 after 40 minutes, with Alexander Bryson scoring for Camrose in the first period, and Riley Dekowny scoring his 15th goal of the season for Canmore in the second period.

The Eagles would take the lead 4½ minutes into the third period on Hunter Burgeson’s fifth goal of the season. The Kodiaks would not give up though with Myles Gauld tying the game with 5½ minutes to play, Callum Gau redirecting the puck into the goal to put the visitors in front with three minutes to play, and Owen Lansing adding an empty net marker with 20 seconds remaining.

Camrose outshot Canmore 39-22 with Matthew Malin in goal for the Eagles and Freddie Halyk in goal for the Kodiaks. The two netminders would renew their clash the following night.

Camrose was 2-for-4 on the power play and Canmore was 1-for4.

The Eagles were without defence Finn McLaughlin (broken wrist) and Brody Tallman (upper body) for this game and lost Owen Jones to a forearm muscle tear – suffered when he was hit taking a shot – which will keep him sidelined for two to three weeks. Tallman would return for Saturday’s game.

While Tallman’s return gave the Eagles some much needed depth along the blue line, the team was reduced to just 11 forwards with Jones and long-term injury Cole Wirun (broken femur) unavailable. It necessitated a lot of line juggling for Head Coach Andrew Milne in a penalty filled game.

After taking a 1-0 lead on Burgeson’s sixth goal, the Eagles found themselves playing catchup over the final two periods. Levi Carter got the Kodiaks back on equal terms just past the mid-point of the first period.

In the second period, Lansing and Lucas Lemieux scored for Camrose. Brody Mortenson’s second goal of the season and first since Sept. 17 and Reed Jacobson’s eighth goal would tie the game at 2-2 and 3-3 respectively.

Noah Alvarez would score just 2:28 into the third period to give Camrose the lead again – and the lead held onto until the end of the game.

Canmore outshot Camrose 31-24 while on the power play the Eagles were 3-for-7 and the Kodiaks went 2-for-8 and also scored a shorthanded goal.

The results allowed Camrose (19-21-2-0) to vault past Canmore (17-22-2-2) into the fifth place in the South Division. The Kodiaks have won all four contests with the Eagles this season. The two teams will meet again Jan. 29 in and March 4, with both games in Camrose.

Canmore, with 38 points, is now just two points up on the seventh-place Calgary Canucks (14-26-6-2), who hold the final playoff spot.

The Eagles are the midst of a five-game homestand – and are mired in a four-game losing streak – with their final two games of this homestand against more South rivals in the eighth-place Olds Grizzlys (13-26-3-30) on Friday (Jan. 20) and first-place Brooks Bandits on Saturday (Jan. 21). Both games start at 7 p.m. at the Canmore Recreation Centre.