Eagles Settle for Single Point in Road Contest Versus Georgina

By Sam Laskaris

It appeared some costly turnovers would force the Clarington Eagles to come away empty-handed from their latest road trip.

But Eagles’ rookie forward Jordan Shaw managed to score a millisecond before the third-period buzzer to salvage a single point for the Clarington squad.

After a seven-minute overtime session failed to declare a winner, the Eagles settled for a 4-4 draw against the host Georgina Ice in their Provincial Junior Hockey League contest on Friday.

The spirited affair was played in front of a large and boisterous crowd at the Georgina Ice Palace. No doubt several of the spectators came to participate in the club’s Teddy Bear Toss, which was held in the first intermission.

The Centum One Financial Group, including mortgage brokers Paul Snider and Michael Cornacchia, pledged $1,000 in support from that fundraiser. Proceeds are going to the Optimist Club of Keswick.

As for the game itself, Clarington head coach Dean Baumhauer obviously would have preferred to come out of it with a victory.

“I like that we didn’t quit and we got the tie,” Baumhauer said. “But I’m not happy with a tie in Georgina, a team in the bottom of the standings.”

The single point for the Eagles actually allowed them to gain a tiny bit of ground atop the league’s Orr Division standings.

Clarington is now leading the way with its 9-2-0-2 record. The Eagles are now two points ahead of the second-place North Kawartha Knights, who were edged 2-1 by the host Uxbridge Bruins on Friday.

Georgina is now sporting a 3-8-0-1 mark, good for sixth place in its seven-squad division.

The Eagles handily outshot the Ice 62-38. Despite enjoying a 1-0 lead after the opening period and a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes of action, the Clarington club allowed Georgina to score three times in the third.

“It’s not what we were looking for,” said Clarington defenceman Carter Watkins. “But they came with some intensity and their fans were really boosting them up and they never quit. We kind of just laid off a little bit and let them keep coming at us instead of putting them to bed and keeping them quiet.”

Watkins was pleased to see his team get the equalizer just before the expiration of regulation time.

“I think the crowd was bugging us a little bit so it was kind of sparking us up a bit to get a goal and get it back,” he said. “They were getting really chirpy so it was good to get it and quiet them up a little bit. I like that we had that fight to come back and tie it. Obviously, we shouldn’t have been in that spot in the first place.”

For a while it appeared the Ice would register a victory on perhaps a bit of a controversial goal.

Georgina veteran forward Wes Weir gave his club a 4-3 lead with slightly over seven minutes remaining in the third.

The Eagles, however, especially netminder Tyler Ryan were trying to plead their case that the net was off its moorings beforehand, which it appeared to be by several inches.

“I was trying to get a hold of the ref,” Ryan said, estimating he did so for 10-20 seconds. “I was trying to get his attention before it went in. He obviously didn’t see it.”

Ryan added some finger pointing should also be directed at himself.

“Obviously I have to play whistle to whistle,” he said. “I can’t blame anyone but myself on that. I’ve just got to make a save.”

Ryan, however, was pleased to see with the efforts of his teammates and the energy they displayed playing their second game in as many nights.

“The boys really came out with a jump in their step,” he said. “We were flying out there. Just costly turnovers (hurt us) and I’ve got to make a save for the boys and then maybe we come out with a different result. Maybe we get the two points. One point is definitely better than none but at the end of the day we always want the two points.”

Besides Shaw’s last-second heroics in the third, Jake Lemere, Joey Cole and Connor Davies also scored for the Eagles.

Clarington is now off until this coming Thursday when it hosts the Little Britain Merchants. Game time at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex is set for 7:20 p.m.