PHOTO – Rookie Kurt Hildebrand had the game winning goal last night as the Eagles downed the Brooks Bandits 2-1 for their fourth straight victory. (photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
The Canmore Eagles made a couple of major moves on Friday – both in the Alberta Junior Hockey League standings and in their active roster of players.
On the score sheet, the Eagles continued their winning ways as they defeated the first-place Brooks Bandits 2-1 before close to 1,400 fans in Brooks to register their fourth consecutive AJHL victory and second consecutive win over the defending Canadian Junior A champions in less than a week. Canmore also won both games of a home and home series with the 2nd-place Okotoks Oilers over the past week.
The Eagles were full value for their victory in Brooks last night as they outshot the Bandits 26-21 overall, including a dominating 12-2 edge in the third period.
Rookie forwards Brett Radford (2nd) and Kurt Hildebrand (3rd) had the Eagle goals on Friday night, while rookie goaltender Ryan Ferguson continued to impress stopping 20 of 21 Bandit shots to pick up his sixth victory of the season.
The victory improves the Eagles record to 10-10-1 and Canmore now sits in fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings, just one point back of the third-place Drumheller Dragons.
“Our team is playing very structured hockey right now and we haven’t been giving up many shots or offensive opportunities,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne following the game. “When the other team does generate some offensive opportunities, Fergie has been there to stop them. As a coach, it’s very gratifying to see the team play such a sound system and be rewarded for their efforts. We are starting to see some positive results and the players are buying in.”
Prior to the game, Milne made a couple of roster moves as he traded 18-year-old rookie forward Bryan Huck to the Calgary Mustangs in exchange for 19-year-old forward Joe Serpico. Milne also sent 17-year-old forward Colton Sandboe back to his home-town of Grande Prairie. Sandboe had been out of the Eagles lineup since October 19 after suffering a concussion in a game played in Grande Prairie.
Serpico, who put up 35 points for the Mustangs in 2012-13 and had 12 points in 16 games this season, was in the Eagle lineup last night.
“With Luke Simpson out of our lineup with injury, we needed to add a veteran forward that could produce offensively and to do that, we had to give something up,” said Milne. “We lost some good potential in Huck but felt we had to make the deal. Serpico is an AJHL veteran and has proven numbers. He is a good skater who can really fly.”
“We sent Sandboe back to Grande Prairie to get healthy and play for the Junior B team there. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
The Eagles next game is set for Monday, Nov. 4th when they travel to Calgary to meet the Canucks.
NOTEBOOK: With too many “bumps and bruises” to list, Eagles penalty killing specialist Jeremy Margeson did not dress last night joining injured forward Nils Moser, Luke Simpson, and Lane Olson on the sidelines. . . .After Monday’s road game in Calgary, the Eagles will then play four straight home games and will not have to travel for a stretch of 18 days.