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EAGLE PLAYOFF ACTION STARTS THIS THURSDAY

PHOTO: YOUR 2015-16 CANMORE EAGLES! – photo courtesy of Pam Doyle

ROUND ONE – DRUMHELLER DRAGONS (25-29-6) vs CANMORE EAGLES (26-27-7)


Round One Playoff Schedule
Game 1 – Thursday, March 10 @ Canmore 7:00pm
Game 2 – Friday, March 11 @ Canmore 7:00pm
Game 3 – Sunday, March 13 @ Drumheller 4:00pm
Game 4 – Monday, March 14 @ Drumheller 7:00pm*
Game 5 – Wednesday, March 16 @ Canmore 7:00pm*

2015-16 – Season Series Recap
Sept. 19:   Canmore 6, Drumheller 3
Sept. 25:   Drumheller 5, Canmore 3
Nov. 7:     Canmore 3, Drumheller 1
Dec. 8:     Drumheller 7, Canmore 6 (OT)
Jan. 5:      Drumheller 6, Canmore 3
Mar. 4:     Drumheller 4, Canmore 3 (OT)

The Canmore Eagles will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak against the Drumheller Dragons when the two Southern Division rivals hook up in the first-round of the upcoming Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs.
In their six regular season games played against each other this season, the Dragons won four games (two in OT), while the Eagles won twice.
“It should be an excellent series for the fans,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club will enjoy home-ice advantage in the best-of-five series. “We’ve had some close games against the Dragons this year and there’s not much to choose between the two clubs. As always, it will probably come down to special team play, goaltending and discipline.”

As the two teams prepare for their first-round showdown, the Eagles ended their 60-game regular season schedule with the AJHL’s top ranked powerplay, scoring 82 goals on 322 powerplay opportunities for a conversion rate of over 25%. The Dragons had the AJHL’s ninth-ranked powerplay, scoring 53 goals on 275 opportunities for a conversion rate of 19%.

In the nets, the Eagles will probably go with rookie Ryan Bontorin who compiled a regular season record of 17-18-5, a Goals Against Average of 3.77, and a Save % of .895. Bontorin has started 21 of the last 25 Eagle games since Jan. 1 and has gone 6-2-2 in his last 10 starts.
The Dragons are expected to counter with veteran Jonny Hogue who compiled a regular season record of 18-16-4, a Goals Against Average of 3.44, and a Save % of .903.

On the penalty front, the Dragons current roster has accumulated 1,045 penalty minutes this season, while the Eagles amassed 1,115 penalty minutes.

In other Southern Division playoff action, the first-place Brooks Bandits will receive a bye, while the second-place Camrose Kodiaks will face the seventh-place Olds Grizzlys and the third-place Okotoks Oilers will meet the sixth-place Calgary Canucks.
NOTEBOOK: In recent playoff history, the Dragons knocked the Eagles out of the 2014 playoffs in the second round winning the best-of-seven series 4-1. In 2013, the Dragons also eliminated the Eagles in the first-round, winning the best-of-five series 3-0.  The Eagles did come back from a 2-0 series deficit in the first-round of the playoffs in 2006, to knock off the Dragons three games to two.