Wednesday, November 14, 2012 – On a night of many “firsts”, the Canmore Eagles defeated the visiting Calgary Canucks 4-2 in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played last night before 427 spectators at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
It was the Eagle’s first victory in 16 days and snapped a four game losing streak. The victory improves the Eagle’s record to 10-7-4 and moves the club into fifth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings, just four points back of the second-place Okotoks Oilers. Canmore has played two less games than the Oilers.
Jeremy Margeson picked up his first two goals of the season for the Eagles, while Alex Barnes and Braeden Music also scored for Canmore. It was the first goals of the season for both Barnes and Music. Canmore native Nils Moser collected three assists on the night.
The Eagles specialty teams also accomplished a first as they were perfect on the night scoring on all three power-play opportunities, while successfully killing all six penalties called against them.
Eagle netminder Cameron Barnes was solid in net stopping 15 of 17 Calgary shots to record his first victory in his past five outings and improve his overall record to 5-5-2. The Eagles outshot Calgary 37-17 on the night.
With their two top goal scorers, Zack Rassell (11 goals) and Steven Phee (13 goals), out of the lineup with injuries, Eagle’s head coach and general manager Andrew Milne was pleased to see how his team responded after a week’s rest.
“We got off to a slow start tonight and it took us a while to shake off the cobwebs, but once we did, we started to dominate and didn’t look back,” said Milne. “It was great to see Margeson, Music and Barnes get their first goals of the season and hopefully get them rolling again. With our two top gunners out of the lineup, we needed to get some other guys scoring and they responded. Moser was also outstanding for us.
“With our week off, we spent some time working on our power-play and it was the difference for us tonight. We also had some good sacrifice on the penalty kill. It was kind of a Must Win game for us as we have a very tough road trip ahead of us and we had lost a few in a row, so I was really pleased to see the boys respond the way they did.”
The Eagles will now head out on a very tough “three games in 2 ½ day” northern division road trip. Canmore will open their road trip on Friday night with a game against the Drayton Valley Thunder (13-10-2), visit Grande Prairie Storm (14-5-2) on Saturday, and wrap-up the trip on Sunday afternoon in Whitecourt against the Wolverines (12-5-7).
Canmore’s next home games will be on the November 23-24 weekend when they host the Camrose Kodiaks for a pair of 7 pm games. The Kodiaks and Eagles have not met this season.
NOTEBOOK: Prior to last night’s game, the Eagles were pleased to honour the Canmore Wolverines Football Club as Head Coach Chad McClenaghan and forty of his players took in the game. The Wolverines enjoyed a very successful season on the gridiron as they made it right through to the championship game in the Big Sky Football Conference before losing to Drumheller. . . In a positive sign, Eagle goaltender Ty Swabb, who has been out of the lineup since October 27, dressed for last night’s game and was on the bench backing up Barnes. Rassell has also been skating with the club and is close to returning to game action.