By Sam Laskaris
Buoyed by a three-goal opening period, the Clarington Eagles took over sole possession of first place in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Orr Division on Friday.
The Eagles improved their record to 7-1 by downing the host Georgina Ice 3-1.
With its seventh straight win, Clarington now has a division-leading 14 points. The Eagles are two points ahead of the 6-1 North Kawartha Knights and the 6-2 Little Britain Merchants, who were both idle on Friday.
Maddox Smith opened the scoring for the Eagles just shy of the seven-minute mark in the opening frame.
“They were all dirty area goals but it was good to see,” said Eagles’ head coach Dean Baumhauer.
“After that, it really turned into a penalty affair,” Baumhauer said. “It was a chippy game with not a lot of flow.”
The Clarington bench boss was pleased to see some solid play between the pipes for his squad.
“Tyler Ryan played really well in net for us, which was a great bonus,” Baumhauer said of the Eagles’ rookie backup netminder, who made his second start of the season and earned his second W.
Baumhauer also felt his charges displayed a bit more life than they did a night earlier, when they defeated the visiting Uxbridge Bruins 4-2.
“I thought there was some good energy and a bit more care factor,” he said. “We’re just struggling around the net. We’ve just got to get some of our go-to guys scoring a bit.”
Though he has a team-leading nine points after eight games, Lace has scored just twice. Manning, who has had more than his share of scoring opportunities, has one goal.
“Once they get one, they’ll probably get a few,” Baumhauer said of his veterans, who he is obviously hoping start scoring with some more frequency.
But the most important thing, however, was the fact the Eagles racked up two more points on Friday.
“Over-all we’re happy, coming off a game (on Thursday),” Baumhauer said. “It was our second game in two nights and it was on the road. We came up here and got the two points and moved our winning streak to seven games.”
With the loss, Georgina’s record fell to 2-7.
The Eagles will try to extend their winning streak to eight games on Tuesday when they venture out on the road again to square off against the Lakefield Chiefs.
That match, which has a scheduled opening faceoff of 7:30 p.m., will be held at the Lakefield-Smith Community Centre.
Meanwhile, the Eagles next home contest will be this coming Thursday (Nov. 4), versus the North Kawartha Knights at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex. Game time is 7:20 p.m.
Additional photos by Chris Archer: