The Eckville Eagles won 6-3 in their final regular season game Jan. 13 in an away game with the Westlock Warriors. With four full lines, the Eagles went into the game sitting first in the North Central Hockey League and held onto the title.
Eckville didn’t start scoring until the end of first period with Patrick Turville making the goal assisted by teammates Kyle Sheen and Reed Watts. Turville took a break from his usual role as “defenceman shut-down” and took the lead in scoring by contributing two goals to the game.
Second period saw the teams take turns scoring. Turville scored again mid-period, assisted by Ian Munro and Trevor Schulte. The Warriors fought back with their first goal of the game a minute after with player Brett Bujold scoring off a feed by Taylor Heck.
The Eagles maintained their lead with a little over a minute left in the second period and another point from Jeff Clazie, helped by teammates Ian Munro and Patrick Turville. The Warriors made their second goal with 18 seconds left in the period, shot in by Scott Ivey with assistance from Connor Boyd and Nathan Brown.
Westlock made one more goal at the beginning of period three to tie up the game on a power play. Nathan Brown tipped in the goal off a feed from Scott Ivey and Ryan Nelles.
However, the Eagles took off after that with two more goals in quick succession. The fourth goal was made by Eagles’ Joshua Mcilravey with teamwork from James Dobni and Andrew Coles. The fifth goal went in just seconds after with Eagles’ Sheen working with Chance Abbott and Andrew Coles to take the lead 5-2.
During a power play, Abbot nailed the Warrior’s coffin closed with the final goal of the game off feeds by teammates Sheen and Matt Schmermund.
The previous weekend’s game with Morniville was the first game back after the regular season. Coach Cale Walker felt the Eagles were a “little rusty” after the holiday break in that first game but thinks the team is warming up again even with a number of regulars missing for the Westlock game. Although Walker says it’s hard to speculate how the playoffs will turn out, he plans to keep the team in practice so they’re ready to face the teams trailing them in the playoffs: Daysland, Morinville and Bonnyville.
While the playoff bracket has not yet been set, the team has finalized their playoff roster. The team includes: Chance Abbott, Jeff Clazie, Andrew Coles, Vince Connon, James Dobni, Scott Doucet, Mackenzie Engel, Jordan Freake, Devon Hobbs, Scott Kallis, Brendan Lamb, Joshua Mcilravey, Eric Moltzahn, Ian Munro, Brian Pieper, Joel Richard, Matt Richardson, Matt Schmermund, Justin Schmit, Trevor Schulte, Kyle Sheen, Jordan Stimpson, Patrick Turville, Reed Watts, Derek Wiedmer, Jared Williams and Travis Yonkman.