After playing in Olds on Friday night, spending some time in Edmonton on Saturday, including a visit to the West Edmonton Mall, the Canmore Eagles made their way up to the City of Oil Sands, Fort McMurray. It was a successful weekend for the Eagles, as they picked up a 5-3 victory over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons to go perfect on their road trip after a 3-1 win in Olds. With the victory, the Eagles move back up to 3rd Place in the AJHL South Division, 1 point up on the Okotoks Oilers and 4 points back of the Drumheller Dragons for 2nd Place. Their record is now 9 wins, 4 losses and 2 overtime losses for 20 points.
In Sunday’s game, the Eagles got off to a great start as they took an early 2-0 lead only 2:23 into the first frame with a Power Play goal from Taden Rattie (6) and a goal from Quinton Ong (5). The Oil Barons responded with a Power Play goal at 14:18 of the first, off a lucky bounce. Oil Barons player Ryan Conroy fired the puck in the Eagles’ zone, the puck hit the stanchion and bounced right in front of the Eagles’ net, with Eagles netminder Logan Dyck out of his crease to play the puck and Oil Barons Forward Brendan Stafford scored in a wide-open net. The Eagles regained their 2-goal cushion at 1:32 of the 2nd period, when Max Giangualano scored a highlight real goal (10) going end-to-end with the puck, undressing the Oil Barons players and beating Barons goalie Josh Dias blocker side. The Oil Barons once again cut their deficit to one, with a Power Play goal on a 5 on 3 from their leading scorer Reed Morison at 8:42 of the 2nd. Unlike in the 1st and 2nd periods, it was the Oil Barons who were able to get a goal early in the period, as Kole Gable knotted the game at 3-3 only 49 seconds into the final frame. Although the Eagles were playing a solid road game, it was the Oil Barons who carried most of the play between the middle of the 1st and the middle of the 3rd period. But after killing off a 5 on 3 around the midway point of the 3rd, the Eagles took over the play and were to regain the lead with a goal from Captain Colton Young (8) at 12:52. Owen Reith (5) sealed the deal an empty goal with 11 seconds left in the game.
Eagles’ Coach/General Manager Andrew Milne was pleased with the team’s overall performance. Just like in the last couple of games, the Eagles got into some penalty trouble, especially in the middle frame. The Eagles played a man short 8 times, including twice at 3 on 5. But Milne gave high praise to the Penalty Kill unit with special mentions going to Owen Reith, Nolan Steer and Carter Coles. “Reith and Steer have been workhorses on the Penalty Kill for us all season,” said Milne. “Killing off the Oil Barons’ 5 on 3 in the middle of the 3rd period was a big momentum swing for the team.”
10 different Eagle players hit the scoresheet in Sunday’s game and not 1 player got multiple points.
Logan Dyck was between the pipes and he had another good performance with 32 saves on 35 shots to improve his season’s record to 5-3.
The Eagles’ next game is on Tuesday, October 30 at Fenlands Arena in Banff as the Drumheller Dragons (12-5) will be the visitors. It will be the Eagles’ first of two games played in Banff this season. Puck drop is 7 pm.
EAGLES FUN FACTS:
– With 15 games played, the Eagles are now at the quarter-way of their 2018-19 schedule. And with a record of 9-4-2, it is the Eagles’ best start after 15 games since the 2004-05 season.
– The Eagles have played great Hockey away from the Canmore Recreation Centre this season. The Eagles’ record away from the CRC is an impressive 7-2-1. Six of the next seven games will be played away from the Rec Centre, including the game in Banff on Tuesday.