Following up a fine 1989-90 season with a strong training camp this fall, Eagle center Marc Bureau seemed certain to make the Calgary Flames roster. But after being sent down to the Eagles at the start of the season, he admittedly had a poor attitude and scored just eight points in the Eagles first 12 games.
Bureau suddenly came to life this weekend matching his season point total in two games. He scored two goals and had two assists in an Eagle victory over Kansas City Friday and came back with another two-goal two-assist game Saturday in an 8-4 win over Kansas City at the Salt Palace.However, he was a bit miffed when he only got to play one shift in the final period of the comfortable victory. As soon as the game ended, he found out why - he's being called up by the parent Calgary team, joining the Flames Sunday in Buffalo. He's apparently replacing an injured Flames' player.
"I don't know what's going on. I just want to go up there and give it my best," said Bureau, who played five games with the Flames last year.
The timing couldn't be worse for the Eagles, who seem to be breaking out of an early-season slump with the back-to-back easy victories. However, Coach Bob Francis didn't seem too upset about Bureau's call-up.
"I'm ecstatic," he said. "The object is to get everybody here up there. We're here to develop people for Calgary. I'm very happy for Marc."
Still Francis has to be concerned for his own team. He's lost three top players now (goalie Steve Guenette called up, defenseman Brian Glynn traded to Minnesota) without receiving anything in return.
"You just have to make the adjustments," said Francis.
As they did a night earlier, Salt Lake put three goals on the board in Saturday's first period. Scott McCrady and Kerry Clark scored in the first six minutes against beleaguered goalie Randy Exelby, who now has an 0-8 record on the year. Martin Simard, who added two more goals Saturday to give him seven in the last three games, scored on an unassisted breakaway at the 17:40 mark.
Bureau's first goal of the night came a minute into the second period to make it 4-0 and the Eagles were cruising.
The Blades tok them out of cruise control in a hurry, however, with three goals in a five-minute span against Wayne Cowley.
"We let up a bit and all of a sudden it's a game," said Francis. "We found out nothing comes easy."
Midway through the period, Bryan Deasley scored the first of two goals on the night thanks to a great pass from Darryl Olsen.
Olsen assisted Bureau on a goal early in the final period and Deasley scored 40 seconds later to make it 7-3. Simard got goal No. 3 at the 9:12 mark with another power play assist by McCrady, his eighth in a row. Ron Handy scored his second goal of the night for Kansas City late in the game.
The win upped the Eagles record to 5-7-1 and put them in a tie for second in the IHL West with Phoenix and San Diego. The Blades, meanwhile, dropped to 2-11 with things not looking any brighter. They're at the front end of a 10-game road stretch.
Even though his opponent wasn't the greatest, Francis was just happy to get a couple of wins after four straight losses.
"You can't be overly concerned about the opposition," he said. "Hey, these were two big games for us and the guys deserve a lot of credit."
The Eagles conclude their seven-game homestand with a pair of games against Phoenix Wednesday and Friday.