The second night of pre-season action for the Canmore Eagles was pretty at home but ugly on the road.
The Eagles used a split-squad to play two games on Thursday night as part of their Alberta Junior Hockey League exhibition schedule.
Taking on the Olds Grizzlys before 100 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre, a veteran-laden team emerged with a 5-4 victory.
In Chestermere it was a quite a different story, as the Calgary Canucks raced away to a 10-1 win.
The Canucks are in Canmore on Friday night (7 p.m., Canmore Rec Centre).
Having to dress two squads on Thursday night, the Eagles went with short benches in both contests.
In Canmore it was one skater short of three complete lines (14 skaters, which included seven veterans and four newly signed players) and two goaltenders (including last year’s No. 1 Ryan Bontorin).
Meanwhile, the Grizzlys showed up with enough players to send out two teams against the Eagles this night, but went with a lineup that included 16 unsigned players. The most notable absentee was Chase Olsen, who counted 81 points (32G-49A) last season.
Canmore had the first 11 shots on goal but it would be Olds scoring the first goal as Landon Gross beat Bontorin at the goaltender’s left post. He would finish with a hat trick this night.
Prospect Zach Anderson (Calgary Buffaloes midget AAA, 1999) tied the game for the Eagles and veteran Logan Ferguson put the home team ahead as they peppered Grizzlys goaltender Jackson Little (Calgary Northstars Blazers minor midget, 1999) with 23 shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes. The visitors had 11 shots.
The teams would change goaltenders midway through the second period with Little allowing three goals on 27 shots and Bontorin two on 16 shots.
Scoring in the second period for Canmore were veterans Jonas Gordon and Coy Prevost, who would record his second of the night late in the third period.
Gross, from Pincher Creek and who spent last season playing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, kept the Grizzlys close with goals in the second and early in the third period.
Also scoring for the Grizzlys, late in the third period, was Owen Guenter.
Canmore outshot Olds 40-28. Justin Travis (Red Deer Chiefs midget AAA, 1999) finished the game for the Eagles, giving up two goals on 12 shots. Ethan Crotty (St. Albert Raiders midget AAA, 1998) played the back half of the game for the Grizzlys, surrendering two goals on 13 shots.
In Chestermere, the other half of the Eagles pre-season roster was taking on a veteran-laden Calgary Canucks, who looked ready to start the regular season.
It was lopsided right from the opening face-off, with the Canucks scoring the first six goals and cruising to the easy win, outshooting the Eagles 56-12 in the process.
Jordan McConnell and Dalton Ossman each scored two for the Canucks, who held period leads of 3-0 and 7-1.
Cody Campbell (Grande Prairie Storm midget AAA, 1998) started in goal for the Eagles for the opening 40 minutes making 24 saves on 31 shots. Logan Dyck (Calgary Buffaloes minor midget, 1999) was between the pipes the final period and faced 19 shots.
The lone Eagles' goal came from Colby Livingstone in the second period to make the score 3-1 at the time.
The Eagles final tune-up of this pre-season on Friday against the Canucks (7 p.m., Canmore Rec Centre) should be a much different game than the one played in Chestermere.
EAGLES NEST: Canmore's record is one win and two losses now in the pre-season. … The Canucks improved to three wins and one overtime loss in their exhibition slate. … Olds is 1-1-0 in its pre-season schedule. … The regular season gets underway Friday, Sept. 16 with Canmore hosting the Calgary Mustangs, whom the Eagles lost 7-4 in their opening exhibition on Wednesday. … Canmore will follow that game up with a second home game of the week versus the Drumheller Dragons on Saturday. … Both games next weekend are 7 p.m. at the Canmore Rec Centre.
For more from Russ at the Crag and Canyon: http://www.thecragandcanyon.ca/2016/09/09/eagles-gain-split-in-double-dip