The Senior Eckville Eagles had a tough weekend against the Daysland North Stars, going 0-2 in their second round playoff best-of-five series.
The first game was a particularly tough game with Eagles at one point seeing a 3-1 lead.
“It was anybodies game in the first period,” Eagle’s owner and defencemen Reed Watts said. “I thought we played very well in the first and even controlled the majority of the play – we limited their chances. We had a few chances ourselves and did a pretty good job. In the second period we did our best job of managing their chances. Then with about five minutes or so it went out the window.”
Both games were dominated by a North Star team which relishes getting under their opponent’s skin.
“They started frustrating us with the style of play they were playing,” he said. “They did a good job of getting under our skin and they got the best of us. It’s definitely not the hockey we want to play and we shouldn’t be trying to play it. We couldn’t grasp the fact they were intentionally playing that way. It got us off our game plan.
Watts added the team’s game plan was working and they showed that in the first and second period.
“We had a 3-1 lead at one point that went out the window,” he explained.
The first game of the series featured multiple misconducts with Eckville’s loss of the lead coinciding with that break of intensity.
“We have to stay off the box and play disciplined,” Watts said. “We need to understand part of their game is to get under our skin because we don’t handle it well.”
He added playoff hockey is often chirpy and it’s unlikely they will get the call. “They will kill you on the power play. We lost the composure that we developed during the Devon series,” said Watts. The second game saw the Eagles launching an astounding 42 shots, with only two sneaking past the Daysland net minder, Allen York.
“We had a lot of uncontested shots,” Watts said. “Their goalie played very well. We didn’t have the same net presence as we had in game one.”
Watts added the 7-2 loss in the second game of the series could have been attributed to fatigue.
“Two games in two days is tough,” he said. “We were losing precision and they played really well in our zone.”
The Eagles now look to bring the series back to Eckville on February 25 by winning in Daysland on February 18.
“You have to play that road game one period at a time,” Watts said. “It’s a cliche but championships are won shift by shift. That is the mentality we have to take to Daysland. Hopefully we can come to Eckville for another game.”
He added the Eagle’s continue to appreciate their fan base who has been consistently growing as well as the fans who came out for the home game on Sunday.