Eagles Split Back-To-Back Games

Article by I. Schoonderbeek/Media by C. Archer

The Clarington Eagles played rare back-to-back games Thursday and Friday this week, resulting in two points for their efforts.

First, the Port Perry Lumberjacks had to weather a winter storm to travel down to Rickard Arena Thursday night. Then they faced a storm on the ice in the form of the Clarington Eagles offense.

The Eagles took advantage of a shorthanded Port Perry squad, defeating the visitors 10-0 in front of 151 fans who braved the winter elements to take in some PJHL action.

The Lumberjacks dressed only 14 skaters for the game and deployed several call-ups to fill out their roster due to injuries and suspensions. “I give them (Port Perry) credit for driving down here and competing tonight. I knew they were going to be shorthanded,” said head coach Dean Baumhauer. “We didn’t overlook a disadvantaged opponent, and we got through the game with no injuries or suspensions, so we’re happy.”

The line of Dawson Manning, Kolby Poulin, and Brady Darrach continued their recent strong play and led the offense in the game, combining for 13 points. “Everyone played well tonight,” said captain Dawson Manning. “Our line had been struggling a little bit to put the puck in the net the last few weeks. We just stuck to the game plan today.”

Nine different Eagles managed to find the back of the net. Rookie Dale Junkin continued to make the most of his ice time, scoring his fifth and sixth goals of the season. Darrach, Poulin, Manning, Nolan Matheson, Owen Manarin, Hayes Bell, Connor Davies, and Adam Klaas also scored for Clarington.

Carter Watson stopped all 29 shots he faced for his sixth win and first shutout of the season.

Things didn’t come so easily for the Eagles Friday evening when they traveled to Uxbridge to take on the Bruins. Despite outshooting the Bruins 45-20 and dominating territorial play, Clarington came out of the losing end of a 3-0 game.

“Overall, we probably deserved a better fate tonight,” said assistant coach Jamie Showers. “We outshot them. We dominated them. You have to give credit to their goalie. He played great. They capitalized on a couple of mistakes and got a lucky bounce on their third one.”

“We’re struggling on the powerplay,” Showers continued. “We need to start forcing ourselves into the dirty areas and get more traffic in front of the net to score some goals. We had some opportunities, and we could have been up three or four goals if our powerplay had been clicking.”

Despite the Eagles’ onslaught, the Bruins did a particularly good job clearing rebounds and preventing second-chance scoring opportunities over 60 minutes.

Ryan Hall had another strong performance on the blue line, breaking up several odd-man Bruins rushes. He echoed his coaches’ assessment of the Eagles performance after the game. “We couldn’t seem to get quality pucks through to the net,” said Hall. “We ended up with a lot of shots, but unfortunately, their goalie had a stellar night. We’ve got to bear down and create more net traffic.”

Hall has proven to be huge addition to the Clarington blue line this year, showing poise with the puck not often seen at this level. When asked if he ever feels pressured on the ice, Hall laughed. “I’m a pretty easy-going guy on and off the ice. I try to stay calm in all situations. When you’re not calm, you just kind of throw the puck away and make stupid plays.”

Marc-Olivier Robert took the loss despite a good effort between the pipes.

The Eagles and Bruins are now tied atop the Orr division standings with 37 points each, though Clarington has two games in hand.

The Eagles have two more games before the Christmas break. They travel to Lakefield to take on the Chiefs on Tuesday, December 20, before wrapping up 2022 at home against Little Britain on Thursday, December 22. Puck drop for both games is at 7:25 p.m.