DRUMHELLER – Vinny Scott scored twice, Andreai Proctor-Ramirez made 41 saves and the Canmore Eagles fought off elimination Friday (March 17) against the Drumheller Dragons.
The local Junior A hockey team won 3-2 on the road to force Game 6 in Canmore Sunday (March 19) in the best-of-seven first round series.
Eagles forward Riley Dekowny scored the game-winning goal in the do-or-die Game 5 and Logan Ziegler had two helpers.
After dropping three playoff games in a row, Andrew Milne, head coach of the Eagles, said the difference in Friday’s game is that the Eagles got the breaks.
“Last night, they had chances, we had chances, and it’s been a back and forth series,” said Milne.
Eagles captain Scott opened up the scoring in the second period, but with less than five minutes to go in the frame, the Dragons fired back with two goals. The lead didn’t last long though and Scott scored his second of the game to tie things up going into the third.
The goal was Scott’s fourth of the playoffs, tying him for third in the league.
"You look at Vinny Scott's game last night and it was evident he didn't want to end the season," said Milne. "When your captain plays like that everyone else kind of follows suit."
Early on in the third frame, Canmore went on the power play after Drumheller’s Adam Raesler was sent to the sin bin for a boarding penalty.
The Eagles capitalized on the man-advantage and Dekowny put in his first goal of the playoffs.
“In the last minute [of the game], everyone bought into what we were trying to accomplish,” said Milne. There was about 10 good shot blocks in that scenario and box outs and really just playing an aggressive style of hockey in there that allowed us to keep the puck out of the net.”
Canmore, we’re coming home for game 6!— Canmore Eagles (@canmoreeagles) March 18, 2023
Get your tickets early for 6PM Sunday . pic.twitter.com/UtSQJuGbyV
Down 3-2 in the playoff series, the Eagles remain in a do-or-die situation for the remainder of the first round.
Puck drop for Sunday’s showdown in Canmore is 6 p.m.
So far in the series, the clashing Junior A hockey clubs split games one and two in Drumheller with the Eagles winning 4-3 on March 10 and the Dragons taking March 11’s match-up, 5-1.
The series shifted over to Canmore for games three and four where the Dragons came to town and stole both. Drumheller fought back from a two-goal deficit in Game 3 to win 3-2 on Tuesday (March 14). In Game 4, the Eagles lost 2-1 in double overtime on Wednesday (March 15).