The Eagles completed a 3 game home sweep of the Rapid City Rush once more this week with two exciting games going 2 – 1 and 4 – 2 along with one total blowout 8 – 1. The Eagles would find themselves down a goal to start the 3rd period on Friday night and then Michael Joly put the team on his shoulders. Almost single-handedly dragging them back to victory, his eventual game winning goal is the play of the week:
Joly would be named First star on the night, and would be called up to the AHL the next morning. Luckily I had the chance to talk to Joly after the game before he was called up.
Funnily enough, Joly was asked what more he needs to do to get an AHL call up. Joly answered “My goal is obviously to be in the AHL but, this year my focus is on where I play right now.” He’s well aware of the number crunch in San Antonio mentioning, “There’s two teams up there. It’s going to be harder to make myself a place up there so, I just gotta work hard and hope for something.” Joly does have a solid 31 AHL games under his belt so far in his career. When asked about the biggest difference between the two leagues he said it’s all about speed, “The pace, really really big difference. You don’t have as much space up there, […] better systems as well, everyone’s in the right place.” Joly has racked up a number of accolades recently including ECHL player of the month for December and an ECHL all-star game nod. I asked him if these type of awards were goals for him. He answered with a workman’s mentality, “They aren’t goals, I don’t think about them. If they come, they come. I’m just trying to prove people wrong and prove that I can do it.”
He sure seemed to prove something to the Rampage management as he was called up Saturday morning, skipping out on the Eagles 3rd game of the week. Who knows, maybe we will get the best of both worlds next year and Joly will be with the Eagles in the AHL.
*Picture credit to @thevoiceofvlad