The senior ‘AA’ Eckville Eagles finished the weekend 1-1 despite not having the whole nest on hand.
The Eagles, who sit in fifth place, played the sixth place Whitecourt on Saturday night and then against the fourth placed Morinville on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles managed to squeak out a 6-4 victory against the Whitecourt Wild, but would lose a tough one 7-3 to the Morinville Kings. The Eagles were playing with half squads for both games.
“You don’t do yourself any favours when you bring half a line up,” General Manager and Defensemen Reed Watts said. “Whitecourt did us a favour by doing the same on Saturday. We played a really good game at times but we had some lulls. We went into the third and locked it down. We owned the puck for long stretches and we killed off a 5 on 3 with five minutes left.”
Following the victory, the Eagles were looking to take a four-point game from Morinville, however after playing the previous night for over 30 minutes on average – the Eagles faced a tough up hill battle.
“On Sunday, it wasn’t a bad game – we just ran out of gas,” Watts said “In the first two periods I felt they had some good bounces. We didn’t get the same quality bounces – that’s hockey. We had 14 guys that were far over played so most guys played 50-60 minutes over the two games. That’s about 15 minutes too many for most of us.”
To compound the heavy minutes, forward Chance Abbot took a gruesome hit up high near the end of the second period which forced him to leave the game for a few minutes to clean up blood. The Kings received a two-minute minor penalty for boarding – however it could have easily been call for a major considering how high on the head the hit was.
Abbott came back into the game angry about the hit and took a penalty which led to a goal on the ensuing 6-5 play. The Eagles would manage to get one goal back to threaten, however the Kings would pull away in the third.
“We feed off each other and you have to be careful of that,” Watts said. “We fed off some negative energy. It wasn’t a bad game as far as reffing – I felt it was well done. There were missed calls but that goes both ways.”
Watts added his team focused on the officiating following the hit, rather than using it as fuel to cash in some goals.
With the .500 record over the weekend, the Eagles did manage to cement their position in fifth place going into their final game before the Christmas break against Westlock this Sunday, December 11 at 3:30 p.m. Westlock currently has a record of 2-8-1, however the Eagles are not overlooking them.
“They are a better team than what that record shows,” Watts said. “They haven’t had the luck and when we went there – they gave us a game. They have a strong goaltender and a young team. They can skate.”
He added it’s a good opportunity to try and pick up two more points before the break.
Tickets for the game are $5 and Watts hopes to see plenty of faces in the stands for their last game before the holiday break.
“Get loud and fill that barn,” he said. “We have had some good support. I know it’s tough when it’s Christmas party season but come out and get social at the rink.”