PHOTO: THE EAGLES WILL PLAY THE CALGARY CANUCKS SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE CANMORE RECREATION CENTRE – (Julie Wilson photo)
NEXT HOME GAME: Calgary Canucks – Saturday, Jan. 10 @ 7 PM
NEXT ROAD GAME: Calgary Mustangs – Sunday, January 11 @ 7:30 PM
The Canmore Eagles will face a huge test this week as they will play five Alberta Junior Hockey League games in a stretch of just eight days.
Canmore, losers of their first three games to start the 2015 portion of their schedule, will play home games on Saturday, January 10 (Calgary Canucks), Friday, January 16 (Lloydminster Bobcats) and Saturday, January 17 (Calgary Mustangs). The club will also travel to Calgary to take on the Mustangs on Sunday, Jan. 11 and to Brooks on Wednesday, January 14.
While both the seventh-place Calgary Canucks (14-21-6) and eighth-place Calgary Mustangs (12-28-3) currently trail the sixth-place Eagles (18-21-1) by three and 10 points respectively in the AJHL Southern Division standings, both teams are playing their best hockey of the season. The top seven clubs will qualify for the AJHL playoffs.
The seventh-place Canucks have started the 2015 portion of their season in fine form surprising the mighty Brooks Bandits 6-2 on Wednesday night and picking up a difficult point in Drumheller on Friday night in a 3-2 shoot-out loss. A win by the Canucks in Canmore on Saturday night would pull them to within a single point of the Eagles for sixth-place in the standings.
The eighth-place Mustangs are also playing their best hockey of the season as they have won their last four games, including road wins in Drayton Valley and Whitecourt and a 5-2 victory over Okotoks on Tuesday night to start the New Year. With two games against the Eagles this week, the Mustangs will also be looking close the gap in the AJHL Southern Division standings.
“No doubt about it, this is a huge week for us,” confirmed Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “Five games in eight nights is a tough stretch, but we are relatively healthy and hopefully we are ready to go. To a man, we all believe that we can be better both individually and as a team. These next five games will give us an opportunity to go out and prove it. We need to put some points up in the standings and regain our confidence.”
NOTEBOOK: The Eagles expect to have veteran defenceman Jakob Lavoie back in their lineup starting tonight. The 19-year-old defenceman has been injured since October 24. The AJHL trading deadline is tonight.