Eagles spin out in third, winning streak comes to end

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The Canmore Eagles were in action Sunday afternoon against the Drumheller Dragons and looking to extend their 3-game winning streak. Unfortunately, the Eagles were unable to keep their streak alive as they dropped a 7-3 decision to the visiting Dragons in front of 480 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre. With the loss, the Eagles’ record drops to 27-20-5 for 59 points. They remain tied with the Calgary Mustangs for 5th place in the AJHL South Division and have a game in hand on the Mustangs. The Eagles now find themselves 3 points back of the Camrose Kodiaks for 4th place, the last spot for home ice advantage as the Kodiaks defeated the Mustangs 3-0 on Sunday. The Eagles are also now 7 points back of the Dragons for 3rd place.

In Sunday’s game, the Eagles played well for most of the first 40 minutes of the game. The Eagles had a 1-0 lead at the end of the 1st and extended that lead to 3-1 until the 16th minute of the middle frame. The Dragons brought their deficit within one with a Power Play goal and then with 2:19 left in the period the Eagles allowed the Dragons to tie the contest at 3-3. An Eagles Defenceman was attempting to make a cross-ice pass in front of the Eagles’ net, but unfortunately, the puck went off Eagles’ netminder Logan Dyck and into the Eagles’ cage. That goal seemed to deflate the Eagles as the Dragons fired on all cylinders and scored 4 goals in the final frame to win the game 7-3.

Eagles’ Head Coach/General Manager Andrew Milne thought that the Eagles’ goal on themselves was a momentum swing for the Dragons saying, “We lost emotional control at that point and never recovered from it. We didn’t have the mental capacity to handle the adversity we had faced tonight and we paid the consequences for it.”

Coach Milne further spoke on the team’s emotional control which has been a downfall for the Eagles at certain times this season saying, “I think at the end of the day, you control two things in this game, your attitude and your effort. Our attitude was awful tonight, our effort was there at times, but our attitude was awful. And with a bad attitude, you won’t win a lot of Hockey games.”

The Eagles’ goal scorers in today’s game were Connor Lyons (22nd), Mark Drohan (12th) and Owen Reith (10th). Lyons also had an assist, while Alex Young had 3 helpers.

Logan Dyck was in the Eagles’ and he went the distance making 29 saves. The shots on goal were 36-27 in favour of the Dragons.

The Eagles have a challenging week ahead of them as their next game is on Tuesday night when they host the Okotoks Oilers (35-16-1) at 7 pm for Industry Night. The Oilers are in 2nd place in the AJHL South Division and prior to dropping their last 2 games, they were on a 12-game winning streak. Friday, Feb 15th the Eagles will face-off against the 2nd place team in the North Division, the Sherwood Park Crusaders (37-13-2) for the Eagles Pack the Rink Night. The Eagles will then leave the nest to take on the Oilers in Okotoks on Saturday night. If that wasn’t enough hockey, the Eagles will be back in front of the home crowd on Monday, February 18th for the special Family Day afternoon game. The Eagles have certainly shown that they can play with the best in the league, as they recently defeated the top team in the North Division, the Bonnyville Pontiacs on February 1st.

When looking at the schedule ahead and what will be the focal point for success Coach Milne said, “Emotional control. It is something that you have or you don’t and we didn’t have it tonight. So we’re gonna have to work on getting mentally strong and facing adversity is part of the game and when we face it, we have to respond.”

EAGLES FUN FACTS:

– In Sunday’s game, Eagles Forward Owen Reith played his 100th career AJHL game. He played 49 games with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons last season and 51 with the Eagles this season. Congratulations Owen!
– Connor Lyons was named the Mountain FM Player of the Month for January. In his 12 games played in January, the 19-year-old Forward from Lethbridge, AB had 5 goals and 16 points. Congratulations Connor!
– Last week, Eagles Forward Alex Young was named to the 2019 AJHL Inter Pipeline AJHL All-Academic Team! Each AJHL team can recognize one player as part of this initiative. A player from Canmore, Jay Thomson who is a Goaltender for the Olds Grizzlys was the player selected for his team. Congratulations to both Alex and Jay!
– The Eagles have 8 games left to play in the regular season with 4 on home ice and 4 on the road.

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