The Eckville Eagles first ever game at the Eckville Arena didn’t go as scripted
The Eagles walked into their new home looking to take down an old rival – the Devon Oil Barons. The Barons and Eagles met in last years’ playoffs, when the Eagles were still located in Big Valley and that history led to some old tensions rising on Saturday, October 15.
Eagles Owner/defencemen Reed Watts described the rough 4-2 loss for the Eagles.
“We weren’t too big of fans of each other,” he said. “We played each other so much in the last few years that there is a little bad blood between our guys.”
He added, “You have to be the better man and you have to be smart when facing a team like Devon.”
The Eagles were feeling alright after the first period, with the score sitting at a tied 1-1 after a goal from #19 Brendan Lamb, however the second would see the Barons cash in on three consecutive goals – putting the Eagles in a big 4-1 hole.
“Unfortunately we played, not complacent, but more lackadaisical in the second period,” Watts said. “We are not blaming this game on penalties but it didn’t help and if we would have cashed in on some of our power plays earlier – it would have been a whole different game.”
The Eagles would finish a tough 0-11 on the power play, while the Barons capitalized on 3/8 out of their attempts with the man advantage.
Eagle’s assistant captain, Chance Abott would close the gap late in the third at 19:09, however the Eagles were unable to close it further. Watts felt the game was closer then the box score suggests.
“They took advantage of their power plays and we didn’t,” he said. “It felt more of a 2-1 game. There were barely any odd-man rushes and when we got that one early in the third I felt we were going to turn it around”
Despite the loss, Watts was happy to see Eckville come out and support their new senior ‘AA’ squad.
“I was excited to see that many people, 120-140 people,” Eckville native Watts said. “I was beyond happy and I hope it grows as the season moves along. It was great to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in awhile.”
The Eagles, who currently sit at 2-2 in fourth place, go back on the road for a rematch against Devon, followed by a game against Westlock. They then return home November 5 for a tough matchup against last years’ champs – the Daysland North Stars.
“Hopefully we will come back at 4-2 and knocking on the door of first place,” Watts said.