The Brooks Bandits will be looking to create Alberta Junior Hockey League history for most regular season wins when they invade the Canmore Recreation Centre on Tuesday night (Feb.26) for a Southern Division game against the Canmore Eagles.
The Bandits, who have been ranked as Canada’s Number 1 Junior A team for the entire 2012-2013 season, have already tied the AJHL record of 52 regular season wins and have two games remaining in their season to create their own AJHL legacy.
Brooks comes into the game with an overall record of 52-3-3 and sport a plus/minus goal differential of +173 when it comes to goals scored, versus goals allowed. The Eagles have a record of 22-30-6 and sport a plus/minus goal differential of -64. In their last meeting in Brooks on Friday, Feb. 22, the Bandits defeated the Eagles 8-2.
While the Bandits will be playing the game to establish a new AJHL record, the Eagles find themselves battling to hold onto fifth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings. Canmore currently holds a slim one point lead over the sixth-place Olds Grizzlys and a three point lead over the seventh-place Calgary Mustangs. All three teams have two games left in their regular season schedule.
The Grizzlys and Mustangs will play each other in Olds on Friday, March 1, so one team is guaranteed to earn at least two points, while there also remains the possibility of a tie and three points being awarded in the standings.
“When you play Brooks, you better be prepared to play your best hockey or they are going to embarrass you,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose team will take to the ice missing seven regular starters who are out with various injuries. “The Bandits are ranked #1 in the country for a reason. They have six players in the AJHL’s top 13 scoring parade and they have scored 93 goals on their powerplay. We will have to be extremely disciplined and stay out of the penalty box, or it could be a long night.”
Following the Brook’s game, the Eagles will wrap up their regular season with a home game on Friday night (March 1) against the last-place Calgary Canucks. The Eagles-Canucks game will likely have huge implications for where the Eagles finish in the AJHL Southern Division standings and who they might meet in the opening round of the playoffs. Game time is 7 PM.
NOTEBOOK – The Eagles will open their best-of-five first-round playoff series on the road with Games 1 and Game 2 scheduled for March 6 and 7th. Game 3 will be played in Canmore on Saturday March 9th. Game 4, if necessary, would be played in Canmore on Sunday, March 10.Both games will start at 7 pm. . . The Canmore Eagle’s will be holding their annual Awards Dinner and Banquet on Saturday, March 2 at the Canmore Golf and Curling Club. The festivities will kick off at 5-6:30 with cocktails and Silent Auction viewing. Dinner will be served at approximately 6:30 pm with the actual Awards Ceremony to follow from 7:30 – 9 PM. Rob Murray of Canmore’s Mountain FM will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event. As of Tuesday, Feb. 26, the Award's Banquet is SOLD OUT!