As the Canmore Eagles prepare to open their Alberta Junior Hockey League regular season with a pair of home games this Friday and Saturday evening, veteran Eagle goaltender Cameron Barnes knows that the upcoming 2013-14 season is the time for him to grab the starting role and lead his team to greater fortunes.
The 19-year-old goaltender is now entering his third full season with the Eagles and seems certain to be the club’s #1 man between the pipes this season.
In his previous two seasons, Barnes registered starting record of 11-20-2 in 2012-13, and 11-14-2 in 2011-12.
As a 17-year-old rookie netminder in 2011-12, Barnes competed with incumbent Brady Rouleau and Michael Salmon for the starting role and then found himself relegated to the back-up spot again last season when the Eagles brought in highly touted goaltender Ty Swabb just prior to the start of the season.
When Swabb went down with a serious ankle injury in late October, an injury that would keep him out of the lineup until mid-January, Barnes took over the starting role and gained some very valuable experience.
“I’ve certainly had a lot of ups and downs in my first two years as an Eagle, but I’ve learned a lot from these experiences and hopefully I’m ready put it all together and be the goalie that I believe I can be,” said Barnes, who was selected as the Eagle’s “Star of the Game” on six separate occasions last season. “I’m much stronger mentally going into this year. You can never get to high, or get to low. After two seasons, I’m accustomed to the league now, know the arenas, and know what to expect. My goal is to earn a NCAA scholarship and hopefully this season will give me the opportunity to prove myself. “
When asked how many games he would like to start this season, Barnes was non-committal.
“I’d obviously like to play all the games but that decision is totally up to the coaches,” said Barnes, who backstopped the Eagles to a stunning 4-3 victory over the mighty Brooks Bandits in Brooks last season. “If you win games and play well, you’re probably going to get the next start. I’m going to take this season one game at a time.  This is a big year for a lot of the players on our team, so we’re all pretty excited to start the regular season and see where it goes.”
The Eagles will begin their 2013-14 AJHL regular season with three straight home games. Canmore will entertain the Drumheller Dragons on Friday, Sept. 6, the Calgary Canucks on Saturday Sept. 7, and the Calgary Mustangs on Friday Sept. 13. All games will begin at 7 PM.
NOTEBOOK:  As a result of a fight during last Sunday’s exhibition game against Olds, Nils Moser has been given a one-game suspension and will not be available for Friday’s home opener against Drumheller. . . The Eagles completed their four-game exhibition season with a record of 3-1. . . Season ticket holders can pick up their season tickets in the arena lobby area prior to both games this weekend. . . Shoppers Drug Mart will be performing a pre-game BBQ before Friday’s game so please come a little early for a complimentary burger . . . Registration for the Eagles Golf Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Kananaskis Ranch Golf Resort will close on Monday, Septermber 9, 2013. The cost to play is $129 per individual or a 4-some can be booked for just $450 and includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart and BBQ dinner. Contact to register your team.