Story by I. Schoonderbeek & N. Schoonderbeek/Photos by C. Archer
It was not the start they were hoping for.
The Clarington Eagles kicked off their 2022-23 pre-season with a 6-1 loss on Thursday when they played host to the Port Hope Panthers in PJHL action at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex.
The game marked the end of a short summer break after the team’s extended playoff run last season which saw them fall one goal short of capturing the Schmalz Cup.
“The game wasn’t a great effort obviously, but it’s early,” said Eagles’ head coach Dean Baumhauer. “Port Hope worked hard and took advantage of our mistakes. We had a few looks but just couldn’t finish.”
The Eagles lineup Thursday night consisted of just eight returning players from the 2021-22 squad. Baumhauer acknowledged it might take a few games for the new roster to gel. “We have a lot of new bodies, so our coaching staff will need to roll up our sleeves and get to work. I’m confident this team will be competitive once the older guys find their legs and the new kids get more comfortable with the speed of Junior hockey.”
Offseason acquisition Ryan Hall scored the lone Eagles goal.
The exhibition schedule continues Thursday, September 8, when the Eagles host the Campbellford Rebels at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex with a 7:25 puck drop. They wrap up the pre-season on Saturday, September 10, when they travel to Jack Burger Sports Complex in Port Hope with a rematch against the Panthers at 7:30.