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From the Crag and Canyon: Eagles follow their captain in subduing Bobcats
Posted December 17th, 2017 @ 12:00 am

 

As captain, leading by example is the best way to motivate your team.

On Saturday night, Coy Prevost’s actions were loud and clear.

The Canmore Eagles’ captain scored twice in the third period to give his team a 4-2 win over the Lloydminster Bobcats. This night, he also set up his team’s first two goals.

“Altogether, I think our team came together in that third period and all contributed. It made my night a hell of a lot easier,” said Prevost. “It’s very pleasing. I was given the opportunity by the coaching staff to do that. They put me in the right positions to get those points.”

The result, before 358 fans inside the Canmore Recreation Centre, moved Canmore within a single point of fourth place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League South Division but more on that later.

The rest of the scoring in this game all came in the first period.

Canmore scored twice on its resurgent power play, with Alex Young (10 goals this season) and Jake Ashton (13) the other goal scorers.

Lloydminster scored the first and fourth goals of the opening period: Braydon Jenkins (2) and Kobe Walker (17) the goal scorers.

After the two teams played a listless and goal-free second period, the Eagles stepped it up in the third period led by Prevost, who upped his team-leading goals count to 15 this season. He also leads the team in points at 36 in 35 games.

Prevost’s goals came at 9:13 and 12:10 of the third period with hard work in front of goal seeing him rewarded.

“That is why he is our captain. His nickname is “The Hound” … because he is relentless and doesn’t quit,” said Andrew Milne, Eagles GM and head coach. “A night like tonight, where we needed someone to step up, you expect your captain to do that, and he did that.”

Canmore outshot Lloydminster 44-31, with 20 of the Eagles’ shots coming in the third period. Logan Dyck (6-5, 2.68 GAA)was between the pipes for the Eagles with Nick Sanders (4-7, 3.11 GAA) in goal for the Bobcats.

Canmore had struggled on the power play in recent games, having just five goals in 51 chances in the previous 10 games before popping two goals on Friday night in a 6-1 win over the Grande Prairie Storm. Three on Saturday, including Prevost’s second goal, has it trending in the right direction again and the Eagles have a league-best 41 goals with the man advantage and climbed back up to 20.10 percent for the season – off of a league-topping 204 chances.

Canmore finished 3-for-6 on the power play on Saturday while Lloydminster went 0-for-5.

Special teams is a strong reason the Eagles (15-18-1) are challenging for fourth place in the division, just a single-point back of the Calgary Mustangs (16-17-3), who have played one more game.

A resurgent power play goes well with a penalty kill that is operating at better than 90 percent, having allowed just four power-play goals in the last dozen games.

It was just two weeks – or five games ago – that the Eagles were flirting with falling into the cellar (eighth place) in the South Division.

“Keeping the team together through those hard times means eventually you are going to have good times and fortunately that was the situation tonight,” said Prevost. Although that statement could be extended to include Friday’s win as well.

“We came back this week and had a hard week of practice with the identity that we needed to be a harder team to play against and that is what we did [this weekend]," said Prevost.

Canmore’s next outing is against the third-place Drumheller Dragons (18-15-2), who managed to stay four points ahead of the Eagles with a 5-3 win over Grande Prairie (16-14-3, North, fourth) on Saturday.

The Eagles and Dragons meet Tuesday in Canmore (Canmore Rec Centre, 7 p.m.).

The Mustangs close out their pre-Christmas schedule by hosting the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Sunday afternoon.

EAGLES NEST: Lloydminster (11-22-2) remains seventh in the North Division. … Canmore operated without a trainer on the bench on Saturday while assistant coach Evan McFeeters was away attending to a personal matter. … Daniel Fisher was the healthy scratch as Ty Budai drew back into the lineup. … Canmorite Landon Melzer played his fourth game for Lloydminster, seeing limited ice time. The Bobcats are the third team this season for the 18-year-old rookie, having also suited up for Drumheller (1 game) and the Calgary Canucks (8 games). … Another Canmorite Jacob Bernard-Docker (Okotoks Oilers) was part of the champion Canada West team at the World Junior A Challenge held in Truro, N.S. held this past week. Canada defeated the U.S. 5-1 on Saturday afternoon to take the gold.

RUllyot@postmedia.com

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