Article by Sam Laskaris/Photos by Chris Archer
They’re getting the job done.
But members of the Clarington Eagles are fully cognizant of the fact they need to be better. In fact, much better if they want to continue enjoying post-season success.
For the second time in as many nights, the Eagles outplayed their rivals, outshooting the Port Perry MoJacks by a 63-33 count on Thursday.
The Clarington squad though only managed to eke out a 4-3 victory in the match staged at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex.
With the win, the Eagles now lead the MoJacks 2-0 in the opening round of their best-of-seven Provincial Junior Hockey League playoff series.
“It was nowhere near a pretty win but second night of a back to back and we found a way to grind out the win,” said Eagles’ captain Mitch Doyle, who had a pair of assists in Thursday’s outing.
Doyle is hoping if his squad continues to fire numerous shots at opposing netminders, more of those will find the way into the back of the net.
“Another 60-plus shot game without much offence to show for it,” he said. “But if we just keep playing our game, the goals will come. We can’t start cheating to look for goals.”
The Eagles handily outshot the MoJacks 62-15 en route to a 3-0 victory in the series opener on Wednesday in Port Perry.
Unlike Wednesday’s outing, the Eagles didn’t have to wait until they were well into the contest to get onto the gamesheet. Clarington didn’t score its first goal until late in the second period in Game 1.
In Thursday’s contest, however, Eagles’ forward Joey Cole netted the opening goal just before the three-minute mark of the opening frame.
The MoJacks tied the game just over six minutes later. But Eagles’ veteran forward Brent Lace put his side ahead once again with his third goal of the series late in the first period.
The clubs then traded goals in the second period – Dawson Manning had the Eagles’ marker – and the hosts continue to lead by one, 3-2, after 40 minutes of action.
Brady Darrach scored what proved to be the game-winner when he put the Eagles ahead 4-2 with a goal early in the third.
The MoJacks ensured it would be an interesting finish by cutting the deficit to one with their third goal midway through the final period.
“Tonight’s game I thought obviously was not our best effort,” Lace said. “We had lots of shots again tonight, however, we have been having trouble capitalizing on our chances.”
Lace also echoed Doyle’s sentiment that earning another post-season victory was the main accomplishment.
“At the end of the day, everyone’s still happy with the team’s win,” he said. “And we can come out on Sunday with an improved effort looking to go up in the series 3-0.”
Game 3 will be played at Scugog Arena in Port Perry. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 2:25 p.m.
Should they manage to earn another W in that tilt, the Eagles would then be looking to sweep the series when they return home to host Game 4 on Tuesday (Mar. 15). The contest is set to start at 7:50 p.m.
Additional Photos by Chris Archer: