PHOTO – The Drumheller Dragons are currently riding an eight-game winning streak over the Canmore Eagles. (Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
NEXT HOME GAME – VERSUS DRUMHELLER DRAGONS – FRIDAY, JAN. 3 – 7 PM
The Canmore Eagles will face a very stiff test when they open the 2014 portion of their Alberta Junior Hockey League season with a home game against the visiting Drumheller Dragons on Friday, January 3.
Although the fourth-place Eagles trail the second-place Dragons by just four points in the Southern Division standings, the Dragons have dominated the Eagles over the past year winning eight straight games.
The two teams have met each other twice this season with the Dragons winning 5-1 in Canmore during the season opener on Sept. 6, and 5-4 in Drumheller on October 13.
Drumheller also eliminated the Eagles during the first-round of last year’s AJHL playoffs in three straight games and also defeated the Eagles three straight times to end the 2013 regular season.
“For whatever reason, Drumheller has certainly had our number over the past year so we better be prepared for a very tough game against them,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “They have excellent goaltending, play a physical game, and feature a very balanced scoring attack. You have to play very disciplined hockey to be successful against them. We’ve got 21 games remaining on our schedule this season and we play Drumheller four times, so our games against them will go along ways in determining where we finish in the standings. We’ve beaten some very good teams this season, so playing the Dragons during our first game back from the Christmas break will be a good test for our hockey club.”
Game time at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Friday night is 7 PM.
The Dragons sit in second-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with a record of 22-11-5 and 49 points. They trail the first-place Brooks Bandits by just two points.
The Dragons are currently one of the hottest teams in the AJHL as they have gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.
The Dragons are one the best road teams in the AJHL sporting a road record of 13-5-0.
The Dragons are the highest scoring team in the AJHL Southern Division with 136 goals, 18 more than the next highest scoring team (Brooks), and 25 more than the Canmore Eagles (111).
Drumheller is led by 20-year forward Colton Vannucci who has 36 points in 34 games played. Vannucci comes to Canmore riding a 14 game point streak.
The Eagles sit in fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with a record of 21-15-3 and 45 points. They trail the first-place Brooks Bandits by just six points.
The Eagles are 6-3-1 in the last 10 games.
The Eagles have the best home record of any AJHL Southern Division team going 15-4-1.
The Eagles are led by 20-year-old defenceman Trey Phillips who has 36 points, including 16 goals, in 38 games played. Phillips leads the entire AJHL in scoring by a defenceman.