The Canmore Eagles were finally back on home ice to play their Home Opener after playing their first 6 games of the 2018-19 season on the road. The 640 fans in attendance certainly got their monies worth with a high scoring and entertaining game, but unfortunately, it was the visiting Okotoks Oilers who walked away with the victory as they edged the Eagles 7-6 in Overtime. The Eagles had the lead for most of the game and they even had three different 2-goal leads, but couldn’t prevail in the end. Despite that, the Eagles still managed to earn a single point and they now sport a record of five wins, 1 loss and 1 overtime loss. Their record sits them in 3rd place in the AJHL South Division. The Eagles are only 2 points behind the 1st place Calgary Mustangs and 1 point behind the 2nd place Brooks Bandits.
When speaking with Eagles’ Head Coach/General Manager Andrew Milne as to why his team was not able to hold to their lead, Andrew felt it was due to the team was panicking when Okotoks kept coming back.
Okotoks tied the game at 6-6 on a goal from Zane Kindrachuk 1:34 left in regulation and Quinn Olson scored the Game winning goal only 26 seconds into overtime.
One player who certainly shone in last night’s contest was 2nd year Forward Max Giangualano who scored 4 goals and also had an assist. It was Giangualano’s 2nd career hat trick as an Eagle (his 1st one was on December 15, 2017, vs Grande Prairie) and he now has 8 goals and 12 points this season.
“Giangualano and his line (Tian Rask and Quinton Ong) were amazing tonight,” said Milne. Milne also had praise for 20-year-old defencemen Mark Drohan and Daly Hamilton.
The other goal scorers were Banff rookie forward Kazu Prevost (2) and Owen Reith (4).
Tian Rask, Quinton Ong and Mark Drohan each had 3 assists.
Thomas Davis went the distance in goal for the Eagles and he made 29 saves and dropped his first outing of the season (3-0-1). The Eagles outshot Okotoks 38-36.
The Eagles don’t have much time to dwell on the game, as the Brooks Bandits (6-1) are coming to town tonight for a 7 pm puck drop. Brooks will be rested as they haven’t played since last Saturday at the AJHL Showcase Weekend in Camrose.
“The team needs to learn from last night’s game and get ready to face a Brooks that has lots of speed and skill, ” said Milne regarding Saturday's matchup.
EAGLES’ FUN FACTS:
– Another positive in last night’s loss is that the Eagles Power Play was deadly once again, going 4 for 8. The Eagles’ have the best Power Play in the AJHL, operating at 37.2%. 6 % better than the Brooks Bandits who have the 2nd best PP.
– With 39 goals scored in only 7 games, the Eagles are also #1 in the AJHL in Goals For.