This hasn't been done to the Eagles in at least 10 years, and maybe it's never been done. Club records for some of the early seasons are incomplete.
But Saturday was the first time in at least 10 years that the Eagles have suffered a second straight shutout.The Eagles were blanked by the Indianapolis Ice for the second time in less than 24 hours Saturday afternoon, the Ice winning 2-0 after taking a 1-0 game Friday night.
The Eagles once won back-to-back shutouts, Rick Heinz and Mike Vernon pitching blanks on Oct. 26-27, 1985, but the closest they've come to losing two shutouts in a row were 4-1, 4-0 losses Feb. 19 and 22, 1988.
Ice rookie goalie Jimmy Waite, 20, the top man in the league and heir-apparent to the Chicago Blackhawks' job, kicked away 19 shots by the Eagles Saturday after getting the shutout Friday as well. "I thought we tested Waite more, but he rose to the occasion," said Eagle Coach Bob Francis. "A couple of times, we had good chances, but it's just not going in," he added.
The Eagles have now lost five straight games and eight of their last 10, mostly because of illness and injury. Top two scorers Marc Bureau and Tim Sweeney have been playing hurt on this trip while No. 3 scorer Rich Chernomaz is out with a knee injury, No. 6 Martin Simard had an appendectomy Tuesday and No. 7 Randy Bucyk is out with two knee operations.
Francis said it's possible Chernomaz and Bucyk could be in the lineup Tuesday when the Eagles return to the Salt Palace for the first of 11 December home games.
Because of all the personnel problems, Francis said he doesn't think the losing streak is getting to the players mentally. "I don't think they're getting down. We realize that with the chemistry we have now, we're not going to get five or six goals every night.
"We tried to keep our goals-against down, and we have been successful in that area, and that's encouraing."
The Eagles again played a defensive game with just two forecheckers while the third forward stayed near the blue line to choke off Ice chances. That necessitated using different line combinations, further limiting the scoring possibilities.
Mike Eagles deflected a Jari Torkki shot at 16:19 of the first period, and the Ice didn't score again until Bruce Cassidy used a double screen to sneak in a drive from the left point at 7:39 of the third period.