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Canmore Eagles drop third game in a row to start home stand

The Eagles look to reset at home starting this Friday against the Camrose Kodiaks.

CANMORE – The Canmore Eagles have crash landed after soaring high to start the new year.

Following a season best four-game win streak, the Junior A team (15-20-7) has dropped three in a row, including Tuesday’s (Jan. 11) 4-1 loss to the Sherwood Park Crusaders.

The club is looking to reset this Friday (Jan. 14) at home.

“Just small mistakes hurt us and it just kind of built and couldn’t get the bounces we needed at certain times and the game just got away from us a little bit,” said Eagles forward Ethan Schaeffer.

Schaeffer scored Tuesday's lone goal on the power play in the first period. The team went one-for-six on the man advantage and shut down Sherwood Park's power play.

In the second, the Crusaders got on the board following an uncharacteristic mental lapse from goalie Andreai Proctor-Ramirez. The Eagles' top netminder charged to the bench thinking a linesman ref called a delayed penalty against Sherwood Park at the other end of the ice. However, the linesman put up his arm to signal a potential off-side.

Within seconds the Crusaders barrelled down the ice and tied it up on an empty netter. The opposition added two more in the period.

In the third, the Eagles couldn’t find a way back into the game and the Crusaders added one more empty netter for good measure.

After Tuesday’s game and back-to-back away game losses ­– 3-2 in a shootout against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and a 3-1 defeat to the Okotoks Oilers – the Eagles have lost three-in-a-row or more five times this season.

Of note, the team has battled injuries issues all season including four players sitting out on Tuesday including Kyle Young, Carter Myrol, Kayden Smith and captain Lane Paddison.

Eagles forward Maguire Smyth also exited Tuesday’s game early with a reported separated shoulder. It’s uncertain how long he’ll be out for at the time of publication.

"Obviously with some of our guys out we need other guys to start stepping up a little bit more – not saying they haven’t, [but] there’s just more in the tank from all of us I think and that’s what we really need to have some more success coming down the road," said Schaeffer.

Head coach and general manager Andrew Milne said the team is missing the on-ice presence of veteran leadership, including Paddison, who's been sidelined since November with a hand injury. Paddison is expected to return to the ice later this month.

A lack of killer instinct the vets can teach younger players has been evident.

"We’re definitely playing solid defence. I think in the last seven games we’ve only given up 15 goals – including tonight – so we’re playing good on the other side of the puck," said Milne. "We’re just having trouble scoring and I think that’s confidence and that’s what we just talked about in the room. We need to help each other with some confidence. We got guys that are just lacking so much confidence with the puck that it’s unbelievable. They’re not seeing things, they’re not able to execute and I think that’s evident in our goal production."

The next three games for the club are in Canmore.

The Camrose Kodiaks are in town Friday and Saturday (Jan. 14-15) evenings. Puck drop is 7 p.m. in both games.

Then on Tuesday (Jan. 18), Canmore faces off against the Drumheller Dragons at 7 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to take place in Banff, but was relocated back to Canmore due to COVID-19 fallout. A second game in Banff this season is currently not under consideration.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

Jordan Small joined the Outlook in 2014 and covers the vast world of sports in the Bow Valley. A Barrie, Ont. native, he also wrote for RMO's Mountain Guide section and the MD of Bighorn beat.
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