Sixth place in South Division of the Alberta Junior Hockey League looks nearly inevitable for the Canmore Eagles after they gained only a split decision from a pair of weekend tilts.
Canmore began the weekend with a 3-2 win over the Dragons in Drumheller on Friday (Feb. 24).
After surrendering the opening goal of the game to the Dragons’ Vann Yuhas midway through the second period, the Eagles got a pair of goals from Kyle Young (giving him 15 on the season) and another from Owen Jones (18) to grab a 3-1 lead with just over eight minutes left in the third period. Adam Raesler scored with just under two minutes to play to make it a nervy ending for the visitors.
The victory was the fifth for Canmore in six meetings this season with Drumheller.
Drumheller outshot Canmore 37-33 with Andreai Proctor-Ramirez in goal for the Eagles and Garrett Fuller in goal for the Dragons.
Each team scored two power-play goals with the Eagles having seven opportunities and the Dragons five.
Eagles unable to solve Canucks
Moving to Calgary on Saturday (Feb. 26), the Canucks cruised to a 5-1 win over the Eagles.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period on goals by Sam Callahan for the Canucks and Hunter Burgeson (9) for the Eagles.
Calgary then scored twice in each of the following periods. Daniel Rozsival had two of the goals with Ty Hipkin and Dylan Bidyk registering the other goals.
Calgary outshot Canmore 46-28 with Matthew Malin in goal for the Eagles and Max Prazma in goal for the Canucks.
Neither team could convert on the power play with Canmore afforded eight chances and Calgary nine opportunities.
The Canucks won four of the six meetings with the Eagles over the course of the regular season.
Canmore (23-30-2-2) has 50 points with three games remaining. The Eagles are four points back of the fifth-place Camrose Kodiaks (26-30-2-0) and five points ahead of the seventh-place Calgary Canucks (18-3-6-3) in the playoff chase in the South Division.
The Brooks Bandits (51-5-1-1) have cemented themselves as the top team in the South Division and are the next opponent for Canmore. The Bandits, riding a 10-game winning streak, are at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Wednesday (March 1). Game time is 7 p.m.
The Eagles will then conclude the regular season with games in Blackfalds on Friday (March 3) and Camrose on Saturday (March 4).
The playoffs begin the following weekend. The fifth place club – either Camrose or Canmore – gets the fourth-place Drumheller Dragons (30-21-4-2) in the first round. Okotoks (34-21-1-2) will finish third in the South Division and will play the sixth-place club.