Eagles Hang on to Defeat Chiefs

Article by I. Schoonderbeek/Media by C. Archer

They didn’t play at their best, but the Clarington Eagles ran their current win streak to four games Tuesday night when they defeated the Lakefield Chiefs 4-3 at Lakefield Smith Community Centre.

The win re-established Clarington’s lead atop the Orr division standings. The Eagles now sit two points ahead of the second-place Uxbridge Bruins, who have played two more games than Clarington.

This contest was a much more competitive affair than the 19-0 thrashing Clarington gave their hosts in their first meeting earlier this season.

The Eagles jumped out to a 1-0 lead six minutes into the first period. Captain Dawson Manning sped down the right wing and fed a perfect backhand centering pass to defenseman Carter Watkins who had joined the rush. Watkins made no mistake, beating the outstretched Chiefs goalie for his second goal of the season.

The Eagles’ play was sluggish as the second period got underway. Just over six minutes in, the Chiefs forecheck created a turnover deep in the Clarington zone and scored on the resulting outnumbered situation in front of Eagles goaltender Marc-Olivier Robert to draw even at one.

The score remained deadlocked at one until the seven-minute mark of the third period when Kolby Poulin banged in his eighth goal of the season on a rebound on the powerplay from Nate Stirling and Adam Klaas.

Four minutes later, Stirling lifted the puck over the sprawled-out Chiefs netminder to extend the lead to 3-1, assisted by Klaas and Colson Boyle.

Hayes Bell scored what proved to be the game-winner just past the 15-minute mark of the third when he tipped in a Watkins point shot set up by Manning.

Lakefield was not going to back down easily. With two minutes to play, Chiefs captain Clayton Shaughnessy picked off a neutral zone pass and scored on a breakaway to cut the Eagles’ lead to 4-2.

The goal seemed to give the Chiefs a shot in the arm as they continued to press in the Eagles’ end. With 30 seconds to play, Lakefield was able to work the puck around the Eagles’ zone and beat Robert again to draw within one.

That was as close as they would get as Robert turned away a final scoring chance in the dying seconds to preserve the Eagles’ win.

Coach Dean Baumhauer was dissatisfied with his team’s performance. “Lakefield showed up after being embarrassed last game, and we had some guys who thought tonight’s game would be easy,” said Dean. “Those same guys lacked energy in the defensive end. We made too many mistakes and poor decisions out there tonight.”

Baumhauer noted his club perhaps lacking a sense of urgency in their game recently with so many players out of the lineup. Clarington played the game without the services of Ryan Hall, Mitch Davies, Jordan Shaw, Ty Harris, and Leyton Aitken.

“We need to get our full lineup back which will allow me to award and take away ice through internal competition,” said Baumhauer.

“We played a solid third period before allowing them back in it with two late goals. We’ll need to be much better Thursday night.”

The Eagles are in action again this week at home in the Rickard arena, taking on the Little Britain Merchants Thursday, November 24 at 7:25 p.m.


On another note, here are some pictures of the players at the Bowmanville and Newcastle Santa Claus parades this weekend. Whose cold, dark heart doesn’t melt when seeing big hockey players with kids? Well done braving the cold to bring joy to the community, fellas!