Ian Monroe gets around two players from the Bonnyville Pontiacs in order to pass the puck on to an open player further down the ice.

Eckville Sr Eagles fly away with home opener

The Senior Eagles won the home opener on Oct. 27 versus the Bonnyville Pontiacs

The Eckville Senior Eagles are flying high after their fourth straight win Saturday night against the Bonnyville Pontiacs.

The Eagles won the game 8-2 on Oct. 27.

“As far as home openers go, you can’t get much better than Saturday night’s game,” said Eagles head Coach Cale Walker.

The Bonnyville Pontiacs started the game strong with two quick goals around the halfway point of the first period.

However, once the Eagles got hold of the puck in the first period they were not giving it up without a fight.

The Eagles quickly tied the game before Jared Williams, assisted by Colton Anderson and Tyson Schmidt, took the lead with just under two minutes left in the first.

With a score of 3-2, the Eagles looked to the second period to lengthen their lead and ultimately win the game.

Walker said an issue the Eagles are facing this season is starting slow. He says the team needs to work on being ready to play as soon as their skates hit the ice.

“We started a bit slow, and that’s a bad habits we need to get out of this season,” Walker said.

The Eagles scored a total of four times in the first 10 minutes of the middle frame.

Andrew Bergmann, Jared Williams, Jordie Lawson and Jeff Clazie are all credited with a goal in the second period of play.

While the Eagles were busy on the offence, they did not give up on a good defence. The Pontiacs were unable to score throughout the 20 minute period, and the Eagles led 7-2 with one period left to play.

Walker said overall he is happy with how the team is playing together, especially when one considers how many new players are on this year’s team.

“We’ve had a lot of turnover this year and our team is not the same as it was last year,” said Walker.

“We have a lot of fire power behind us and we are younger and faster than we were.”

Andrew Bergmann scored the goal for the Eagles roughly five minutes into the final period with the help of Jordan Stimpson and Andrew Coles.

“We are a skilled group but we can get down and play a gritty game too if the need comes,” Walker said.

While the Eagles skated away with the win, the Pontiacs put up a good fight, and kept close to the home team in attempted shots.

While the Eagles attempted 49 shots on the Pontiacs net, the visiting team attempted 42 shots of their own.

Eagles goaltender Mackenzie Engle played for the entire 60 minutes of the game and saved a total of 40 shots, letting in only two.

“We are very lucky to the possibly the two best goalies in the league playing for us,” Walker said.

Travis Yonkman is the team’s usual starter, however, as the issue with senior hockey is work and family commitments often get in the way.

“Right now we are going with Mac because he is ready and available,” Walker said, adding, “Last year Yonkman did a lot for us and he has earned his spot, but as it goes with senior hockey he isn’t always available.”

The Eagles are playing with the goal of playing in, and winning, provisionals at the end of the season.

Walker sees some hurdles along the way, such as facing the new team from Red Deer and the ongoing rivalry with the Daysland Northstars.

“We are just going to continue to work together and get better each game,” said Walker.

The Eagles have a couple away games before returning home on Nov. 10 to play the Devon Barons at 7:30 p.m.

 

Jordan Koopmans, who had two assists during the Oct. 27 home game, makes his way down the ice into Pontiacs territory. Koopmans’ two assists were recorded within 10 seconds of each other in the second period. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Andrew Bergmann, Eagles right wing, attempts to score on the Pontiacs from the corner while circling around the net. Bergmann had the game winning goal for the Eagles and one assist during the Oct. 27 home opener.

Jordie Lawson takes control of the puck along the outside of the ice in Pontiacs territory. Lawson scored once for the Eagles with roughly 14 minutes left on the clock in the second period.

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