Showing this year’s crop of young players are quick learners, the Canmore Eagles left no chance for any late game heroics by the opposition on Saturday night.
Canmore scored twice in the third period en route to defeating hometown Bonnyville 4-2 in Alberta Junior Hockey League before 620 fans.
“We talked about it and said the only way to be successful out of that [3-2 Thursday loss to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons] is to learn, and clearly they learned,” said Andrew Milne, Eagles GM and head coach.
Canmore goals came from four different players and started just 37 seconds into this game as Nolan Steer scored his fifth goal of the season.
“It was a good, hard-working shift by all of three of them — [Tian] Rask, [Mitch] Zambon and Steer — they outworked (the Pontiacs),” said Milne.
Bonnyville though would escape the first period with a 2-1 lead as Isaac Saniga (his 5th goal) and Garin Butler (3) scored in the back half of the period.
The lone second period goal came from Rask (2).
In the third period, Quinton Ong (8) scored the game winner on the power play, at 9:33. Just 57 seconds later, Alex Young (6) gave the Eagles some insurance for the final minutes.
Bonnyville outshot Canmore 36-29. It was a wide-open third period with the Pontiacs firing 16 shots on Eagles netminder Thomas Davis (6-5, 3.83 GAA, .902 save-pct.) while Canmore registered 15 of their shots on Bonnyville goaltender Sandro Silvestre (4-5, 3.34 GAA, .891 save-pct.).
Canmore was 1-for-6 on the power play. Bonnyville was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
“It was a good game. I thought we played hard, did a lot of good things,” said Milne.
Canmore improved to 7-6-0 with the win and is in fourth place in the South Division. The Eagles head to Lloydminster to take on the Bobcats on Sunday, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Bonnyville is now 4-7-1 and sixth place in the North.
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