The Midget Eckville Eagles are facing some adversity at the start of their season.
On Sunday, November 20 – the Eagles faced off against their regional rivals the Lacombe Rockets. After blasting off to an early two goal lead, the Eagles would ultimately lose 4-3 after a frustrating third period that saw the Eagles on the penalty kill throughout.
Veteran center Evan Sparrow who notched an assist in the loss was not used to seeing his team lose.
“We felt like we could have played harder and made some more passes but we couldn’t do that today,” he said. “We kind of stopped playing hockey in the third.”
Coach Dale Cowan agreed with his veteran that the Eagles have played better games against Lacombe.
“We played Lacombe before and had a really good game,” Cowan said. “My guys came out with some big heads thinking we had this in the bag. We had some unlucky penalties and some bad bounces. Penalties kill you.”
Despite the loss, Sparrow doesn’t think the Eagles locker room will be affected.
“Today we were a little emotional because it has been a long time since Eckville lost a league game,” Sparrow said. “We will just go the rest of the season without losing.”
He added that his team needs to focus on their individual responsibilities and that if they do that they will end up at the “top of the league.”
Cowan agrees with Sparrow that they can be very successful this year.
“We are aiming to be in the top,” Cowan said, adding that Okotoks or High Country will be the Eagles main competition for the year.
The Eagles will continue to practice their fundamentals including breaking out of their own zone.
“We weren’t really focused on our breakouts – it seemed like we were panicking like the puck was a hot potato,” Cowan said. “We have a word on the bench – we say reset. Everyone takes a second, then pumps each other up and starts again.”
The Eagles go on the road against High Country, Okotoks and Crossfield, followed by a home game against High Country on December 10 at the Eckville Arena against High Country.
Sparrow is looking forward to the challenges of the season.
“We need to get our minds more focused in the room so we can come out and play better,” he said. “We need to come to the rink, focus, listen to music and get pumped up.”