Brooks blasts Eagles
By: Justin Brisbane
| Posted: Thursday, Oct 18, 2012 06:00 am
Going into their first game of the season against the number one ranked junior A hockey team in the country, the Canmore Eagles knew they needed two things if they wanted to defeat the Brooks Bandits – stay out of the penalty box and hope for stellar goaltending.
By giving up eight goals, including three on the powerplay, it’s safe to say the Eagles failed to meet those goals en route to an 8-3 loss Tuesday (Oct. 16) at Alex Kaleta Arena.
It was the Eagles’ first regulation home loss of the season, while Brooks ran its record to 12-0 to start the season.
Despite the lopsided result, head coach Andrew Milne said his team played well at even strength.
“Five on five, we were the better team. Some of the calls they got were questionable and someone like Jordan Revie, who hasn’t had a penalty all season, gets three called against him,” Milne said.
Speed and efficiency was key to Brooks’ offence, and their powerplay was deadly.
“They’re the number one team in the country for a reason. Their powerplay is going at 40 per cent, and was 50 per cent against us.”
The Eagles didn’t help their cause early on, coming out flat in the first two minutes, while quickly giving up a 2-0 lead – the first a shorthanded goal less than two minutes into the game. The second goal woke up the Eagles though, and captain Riley Point got his team on the board 10 seconds later when he chipped a harmless-looking shot over Brooks goalie Michael Frederick into the net.
Steven Phee then tied it up for the Eagles, throwing a wrist shot on net that again eluded Frederick. The goal gave the Eagles life, as they appeared to have found a weak goaltender.
Brooks responded when Dakota Mason scored off a Cam Barnes rebound with four minutes remaining in the first frame.
The Eagles’ powerplay struck at the beginning of the second after Point dug out a puck for Luke Simpson, who fired a shot into an open net to tie the game 3-3. However, that was the end of the Eagles’ offence and Brooks soon took over, firing five unanswered goals past Barnes.
Barnes was a surprise starter against the top team, as Ty Swabb has had a better season to date. Milne said Barnes started because it was his turn in the rotation, and with three road games in three nights coming up this weekend, he wanted Swabb to start against Bonnyville.
Point tried to dwell on the positive during the game, noting the Eagles skated with the Bandits for the first half of the game, and outplayed them at even strength.
“They don’t give you anything. Every mistake you make, they make you pay,” Point said.
Looking ahead, he says the team should be able to get six points this weekend on the road.
The Eagles were also without Nils Moser, who is nursing a lower-body injury. Moser could have played, but was held out as a precautionary measure, Milne said. Ashton McLeod also left the game with an injury and returned to the arena in a sling.