The Canmore Eagles, fresh off a 3-2 over-time victory over the Spruce Grove Saints on Tuesday night, have a very challenging weekend ahead of them as they will play two Alberta Junior Hockey League games against Southern Division rivals in two nights.
First up is a difficult road trip to Brooks for a Friday night tilt with the reigning Canadian Junior A champion Bandits.
The Bandits are 7-1 on the season, undefeated at home, and have outscored their opposition by a 28-12 margin. The Bandits were once again very successful in their off-season recruiting as they attracted American born forward Jake Larson from the Minnesota Wilderness Junior A team which folded operations in the off-season. Larson lead the Wilderness to the RBC championship week finals last season scoring 44 goals and 28 assists in just 49 games. In his eight games in a Bandit uniform thus far, Larson leads the teams with four goals and eight assists.
During the 2012-13 AJHL season, the Bandits won five of the six games played against the Eagles and outscored Canmore by a 38-13 margin. Canmore was however one of the few teams to defeat the Bandits last season, winning 4-3 in a shoot-out in Brooks on Jan. 11.
Things won’t get any easier for the Eagles on Saturday, Oct. 5 as they will return to the Canmore Recreation Centre for a home game against the always physical and tenacious Olds Grizzlys.
The Grizzlys (4-6-1) easily defeated the Eagles 8-5 in Canmore on September 24 as forward Spencer Dorowicz scored a hat-trick and added an assist to lead Olds to their first road win of the season.
Dorowicz, a native of Olds, is off to an outstanding start this season as the 20-year-old has nine goals and eight assists in just 11 games and is currently second in the AJHL scoring parade.
“It’s definitely a big weekend for us as we have a couple of very tough games ahead of us.” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “Playing Brooks is always a good measuring stick for any club in the AJHL and you better be ready to play 60 minutes against them or things can get ugly pretty fast.
“Saturday’s home game against Olds will also be a big test for us. Olds is always a challenge to play and they really took it to us in our own rink a couple of weeks ago. They obviously have one of the best players in the AJ with Dorowicz and we just stood around and watched him beat us the last time out. You can’t allow him to free-wheel around the ice or he’ll make you pay.”
Game time on Saturday night at the Rec.  Centre is 7 PM.
NOTEBOOK: The Eagles made one roster move this week as they traded forward Jaden Sveinson to the Whitecourt Wolverines for future consideration. “We have nine other rookies on the club this season and I didn’t think we could give Jaden the ice time that he deserved to advance his hockey skills,” said Milne. “We wish Jaden the best of luck in Whitecourt and thank him for his time and effort while he was in Canmore”.  . . Eagle forward Luke Simpson now has eight goals in nine AJHL games this season and is just one goal back of the AJHL goal scoring lead. Simpson has at least one goal in six of the Eagles nine games.