Eagles Defeat Panthers to Open Pre-season

Article by I. Schoonderbeek/Photos by C. Archer

The back-to-back Eastern Conference Champion Clarington Eagles opened their 2023-24 PJHL pre-season schedule Thursday evening at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex.

The Junior C squad faced off against their Conference Final opponents from last season, the Port Hope Panthers.

After a two week training camp, the game marked the first opportunity for this year’s edition of the Eagles franchise to test their mettle against a PJHL rival. They would not disappoint…

Clarington dominated play from the opening face-off, outshooting the Panthers 52-23 enroute to a 10-3 victory.

After opening the scoring early in the first period with a shorthanded goal, the Eagles seemed to steadily build chemistry through the lineup as the game progressed. The coaching staff had to be pleased their first opportunity to watch their club play together after a number of key roster changes during their short off-season.

The offence in the contest was led by newcomer Trevor Urquhart with two goals and two assists. Also chipping in with three points each were Mitch Davies, Hayes Bell and Kyle Smith. All four lines were successful in driving the play and getting in hard on the forecheck.

Goaltending duties were split between the returning Jude Rondina and off-season acquisition Aiden Leger.

The Eagles have two more tune-up games before the 2023-24 regular season gets underway. The boys are back in action Thursday September 7 at Rickard Arena (7:25 pm puck drop) when they host the Campbellford Rebels. They will close out the exhibition schedule on the road in Apsley on September 10 against the North Kawartha Knights (3:55 pm puck drop).