Article by I. Schoonderbeek/Media by C. Archer
For the second time in a week, the Clarington Eagles picked up two points in Apsley. After a tight first period, the Eagles dominated play the rest of the way taking home a 5-1 victory.
The Clarington players seemed to be feeling the effects of their longest road trek in the Orr Division schedule early in the game. The Knights were able to generate a number of scoring chances. However, Eagles starter Oliver Webster was up to the task, turning away 12 first period shots.
Kyle Smith continued to show he’s got the hot hand for Clarington, slamming home a rebound late in the first period to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
From the second period on, the Eagles dictated play. They broke the game open in the second on tallies from Trevor Urquhart (2) and Kolby Poulin. Smith would add his second of the contest in the third period to round out the scoring for Clarington.
“It’s hard sometimes for guys to come up here back-to-back Saturday nights against a team at the bottom of our division and get amped up,” said coach Dean Baumhauer about his club’s slow start. “North Kawartha is a hard working team.”
While the top line of Urquhart, Smith and Klaas once again drove the offence, Baumhauer was quick to point out the contributions of a few players who don’t necessarily show up in the scoring summaries every game. “Hambly had an outstanding game tonight,” said Dean. “He was playing physical and moving the puck quickly. Gaylor and Mathieson gave a good effort all night. They drew some penalties and Gazey had a big shot block for us.”
There was a light mood surrounding the team despite the long drive to face a struggling opponent. That likely had to do with the contest marking the annual “Dad’s trip”, with the fathers of the players joining their boys on the team bus to the game.
“It’s a great night,” said Assistant GM/Trainer Craig Wilcox. “This was our third year doing it. It’s great as it brings everybody together. In junior hockey, we deal with the players one-on-one and don’t typically involve the parents like you do in minor hockey. This is a chance for them to get to meet us and vice versa. The boys love it, but I think the dads love it more. Much like our mom’s night that we have, It’s a great chance for the dads to meet each other, share stories, have a ton of laughs and enjoy some entertainment. The boys did Rookie Idol on the way home, we had music playing and pizzas to eat. It was a great night and I’m glad that our owner allows us the opportunity to do this once a year.”
Asked after the game whether having the fathers along for the ride added any additional pressure to play well, third year Eagle Leyton Aitken responded “a little…” with a smirk. “My dad is still always trying to pump me up for the games. It’s really nice having him here. I know the other guys enjoy it as well.”
When asked how he enjoyed listening to Rookie Idol on the return trip, Leyton’s father Phil responded, “it was a long ride home…” As someone who has had the opportunity to participate in the dad’s trip in the past, this writer knows exactly what the senior Aitken is talking about!
The Eagles are back on home ice for the first time in two weeks this Thursday October 26 when they host the Little Britain Merchants.