PHOTO: The Eagles will have their hands full this weekend when they take on the first-place Brooks Bandits in a home and home series. (Pam Doyle photo)
JAN. 30th UPDATE: CANMORE AT BROOKS – Friday, Jan. 29 – BROOKS BANDITS 4, CANMORE EAGLES 0
Brooks goaltender Garret Hughson stopped all 27 Eagle shots as the Brooks Bandits defeated the Canmore Eagles 4-0 in Alberta Junior Hockey League action Friday night in Brooks.
The Bandits outshot the Eagles by a 51-27 margin, but Canmore goaltender Ryan Bontorin kept the game close as it was just 1-0 for Brooks entering the third period.
The two teams will play the second half of their home and home series Saturday night at the Canmore Recreation Centre. Game time is 7 PM.
Saturday, Jan. 30 – Brooks at Canmore – 7 PM
The Canmore Eagles will attempt to be “Giant Killers” this weekend when they take on the red-hot Brooks Bandits in a home and home series with games in Brooks on Friday night and back in Canmore on Saturday night.
The Bandits come into the weekend series with a sparkling record of 36-7-2 and winners of 18 of their last 19 games. The Bandits currently sit in first-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings and enjoy a nine point lead over the second-place Camrose Kodiaks. With just 15 games remaining in the regular season, the Bandits have their sights set on wrapping up first-place and earning a first-round bye when the playoffs begin in early March.
The Eagles come into the game with a record of 20-22-4 (44 Points) and are in a tight battle for fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with the fifth-place Drumheller Dragons who have 43 points. A fourth-place finish would provide home-ice advantage in the first-round of the playoffs.
The Bandits and Eagles have already played two sets of back-to-back games this year with the Bandits winning 11-2 and 6-2 back on opening weekend (Sept. 11 & 12) and then the teams split the series on the October 23-24 weekend with the Eagles sneaking out a 3-2 OT win in Canmore, before losing 4-2 the next night in Brooks.
While the Bandits have been flying high the last few months, the Eagles have definitely lost some altitude going just 2-9 during the month of January.
“No doubt January has been a tough month for us and this weekend’s games against Brooks certainly doesn’t get any easier,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club will play a season high monthly total of 13 games in January. “Unfortunately the injury bug hit us pretty hard right in the middle of the busiest part of our schedule, but that’s life in Junior hockey. No one has any sympathy for us, so we just have to buckle up the chin-straps and get ready for two more tough games this weekend. Brooks is certainly one of the premiere teams in the league and they’ll be looking to wrap up first-place just as soon as possible.”
Game time Saturday night at the Canmore Recreational Centre is 7 PM.