NEXT HOME GAME:
OKOTOKS OILERS – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29 – 7 PM
PHOTO: Trey Phillips had two powerplay goals and a shoot-out goal to lead Canmore to a 4-3 OT win over Brooks on Saturday night.(Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
Simply put, it was a memorable and rewarding weekend for the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Coming into the weekend riding a four-game losing streak, the fortunes of the Eagles appeared somewhat bleak as their schedule had them travelling to Okotoks to face the 2nd-place Oilers on Friday night and then returning to Canmore for a Saturday night gig against the defending Canadian Junior A champion and first-place Brooks Bandits.
But in dramatic fashion, the Eagles found their wings and put forth their best efforts of the season as they defeated the Oilers 4-3 in a shoot-out on Friday night and downed the Bandits 4-3 in another dramatic shoot-out on Saturday night.
It was the Eagles first win in Okotoks since March 2010, and the first home-ice victory over Brooks since Feb., 2010.
Twenty-year old defenceman Trey Phillips had a pair of power-play goals (7th & 8th) for the Eagles in last night’s victory over the Bandits and also scored in the shootout. Fellow defenceman Nikolas Kosman had the other regulation goal (1st), while forward Connor Wilson had a pair of assists and also scored in the shootout.
Eagle rookie netminder Ryan Ferguson came on in relief of starting goaltender Cameron Barnes mid-way through the second period and stopped 21 of 22 Bandit shots to earn the victory. Ferguson made several outstanding stops in the overtime session and was named the Eagles “Star of Game”. It was the fourth time this season that Ferguson has been awarded “Star of the Game” honours.
With the pair of victories, the Eagles now find themselves in fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with a record of 8-10-1. Canmore is now just one point back of the third-place Drumheller Dragons and five points ahead of the last-place Calgary Canucks and Camrose Kodiaks.
“We played a good structural game, the boys worked hard, and they were finally rewarded for their efforts,” said acting Eagles Head Coach Jeremy Reich, who has been behind the bench for both victories while Andrew Milne is away in Calgary with the Team Canada West Junior A Selection Camp. “These victories have just as much to do with the third and fourth line players playing well, as it does with our goal scorers contributing. Everyone is committed to doing their jobs and it has been paying off.”
Canmore’s next game will be Tuesday, Oct. 29 when the Okotoks Oilers come to Canmore for their first visit of the season. Game time is 7 PM.
NOTEBOOK: With two assists last night, Eagle’s second-year forward Connor Wilson now has 19 points in 19 games and suddenly finds himself in 12-place in the AJHL scoring parade . . . Trey Phillips, Simon Philp and the injured Luke Simpson lead the Eagles in goal scoring with 8 apiece . . . Captain Nils Moser is now skating with the club and is expected to return to the lineup soon . . .Eagle defenceman Jakob Lavoie, who missed 10 game with an ankle injury, returned to the lineup over the weekend and was rock steady . . . Special thanks to Rob Anderson and the Canmore Rose and Crown Restaurant and Pub for their “Cheap Beer Night” sponsorship on Saturday night. A good time was had by all.