The Sicamous Eagles didn’t disappoint home fans Saturday when they scored a 3-1 victory over the Chase Heat.
That the Eagles were able to overcome the Heat – cellar dwellers in the Doug Birks Division – shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. Though the effort that was required to do so might have.
Sicamous’ first goal of the evening came late in the first period during a power play from Kelyn Opel, assisted by Brendan Devries and Brayden Taekema. The other two markers were scored in the second half of period two, both by Devries, with assists going to Opel, Taekema and Crump. Chase’s sole goal came in the last 50 seconds of the frame.
Hubris may have been partially to blame for the work it took for Sicamous to put the Heat away.
“I think they were looking past that game, figuring it was Chase and they had it in the bag and they didn’t,” says Eagles manager Wayne March, adding the Heat played a really good game.
Also not helping the situation, adds March, is the fact that the Eagles are down four defencemen due to injuries. And not the kind where they’ll be returning to the ice soon.
Joel Kipp is one of the latest put out of commission. March says he’ll be out for about four weeks after he was crosschecked headfirst into the boards in play last week versus Castlegar. Jamie Gallo is out with a dislocated shoulder. Another player is out with a knee injury, and yet another with a collarbone separation.
Forwards Connor Fynn and Jagger Bowles are also on the mend.
“We’ve really been devastated by injuries,” says March. “And these are veteran players, not just rookies.”
With the Eagles looking at a long, three-game road trip this coming weekend, the scramble is on to find alternate players.
“And we may be losing goaltender (Jack Surgenor) to Merritt – they called him up today,” adds March. “He’s there all week and they want him to play Friday night. We’re leaving Friday morning so we lose him too. (Kris) Joyce, he can step in, but you can’t go with one because they see that, and you don’t have a back-up on the bench, and they’ll run him.”
Given the circumstances, March is quick to commend the still-active Eagles for stepping up and doubling their efforts.
“They’re reaching down and working hard and winning games that we shouldn’t win because of what we’re in, but then again, we’re winning games because we’re working hard and keeping the puck out of our net,” says March.