PHOTO: The last time the Camrose Kodiaks met the Canmore Eagles was back on March 10, 2014 when Canmore won Game Four of their best-of-five opening round playoff series by a score of 5-3 and eliminated the Kodiaks from post-season action. – Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson
NEXT HOME GAMES (2) – Camrose Kodiaks – Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1 – 7 PM
The Camrose Kodiaks will no doubt have redemption on their minds as they invade the Canmore Recreation Centre for a pair of back-to-back Alberta Junior Hockey League games this weekend against the home town Canmore Eagles.
Although the two Southern Division rivals have yet to play each other this season, the Kodiaks are certain to remember their trip to Canmore last March when the Eagles won two straight playoffs games to win their opening round best-of-five playoff series 3 games to 1, and bounce the favoured Kodiaks from the 2013-14 playoffs.
While both teams still have at least 10 players returning from last year’s lineups, the Kodiaks and Eagles have gotten off to dramatically different starts this season as Camrose comes to town sporting an impressive 13-2-2 overall record, while Canmore sits at 9-9.
The key to the Kodiaks success this season has been their outstanding defensive play as they have surrendered just 34 goals in their 17 games played. In comparison, the Eagles have given up 59 goals in their 18 games played.
For the Eagles to have any success this weekend, they will have to find a way to put some pucks behind Camrose ace goaltender Devon McDonald who has gone 11-1-1 to start the season and surrendered just 22 goals. In the process, McDonald has also compiled a sparkling “goals against average” of just 1.68, a “save percentage” of .946 and was also named as the AJHL “Star of the Month” for September. He followed that up by being named the AJHL “Player of the Week” for the Oct. 12-17 period.
“It’s no secret that we have been struggling offensively for the past couple of weeks, so this weekend’s games against Camrose certainly represent a very big challenge for our hockey club,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “Camrose always plays a very disciplined game to start with and their goaltender has been almost unbeatable this year. We need to be prepared to play our best games of the season this weekend. As a team, we need to work extremely hard every shift, stay disciplined, get some pucks to their net, go to the dirty areas, and hope we get a bounce or two.
“After last year’s playoffs, we have a pretty good rivalry going on with Camrose, so it should make for some very entertaining hockey.”
NOTEBOOK: To celebrate Halloween on Friday night, there will be candy giveaways for the kids and ticket giveaways for the best costumes in the arena. . . .Calgary Flames announcer Beesley will be in the house on Saturday night to perform the PA duties. . . .Tickets for the “Town Party 3”, featuring live music by Sully’s Garage and Cronic, will be on sale in the Eagle’s Nest Lounge during both games. Tickets are just $25