PHOTO: Canmore’s Colby Livingstone (centre) scored at 3:36 of the first period and the Eagles went on to post a 6-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Canucks on Saturday night. (photo courtesy of Pam Doyle)
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
Monday, Feb 15 – Calgary Mustangs at Canmore – 2 PM
Friday, Feb. 19 – Grande Prairie Storm at Canmore – 7 PM
Brett Radford had a pair of goals and Braden Saretsky had a goal and three assists to lead the Canmore Eagles to a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Canucks in Alberta Junior Hockey League action on Saturday night.
The game was played before a season high crowd of 755 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
The victory improves the Eagles record to 22-24-6 and gives them 50 points, good enough for fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings – five points up on the fifth-place Drumheller Dragons. The fourth-place team will secure home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs, which are scheduled to begin in mid- March. Canmore has eight games remaining in their regular season schedule, while the Dragons have just seven games remaining.
The pair of goals for Radford gives him 20 goals on the season, while Saretsky’s goal was his 15th. Colby Livingstone (3rd), Jarell Pinchuk (1st), and Logan Ferguson (16th) rounded out the Eagle's scoring. Netminder Ryan Bontorin picked up the win for the Eagles to improve his record to 13-16-4 as Canmore outshot the Canucks by a 42-26 margin. The Eagles also coverted for four powerplay goals on eight opportunities to give them a league leading 73 powerplay goals on the season.
After a sub-par month of January, the Eagles have now picked up at least a point in all four February games played to date.
“It was nice to finally see the guys get rewarded for their efforts tonight,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club wrapped up their six-game regular season series with the Canucks with a 3-1-2 record. “Although we have been working hard and doing a lot of little things right lately, we just haven’t got the results that we’d been hoping for. Tonight the puck went in for us.”
Saturday night’s victory also marked the return of 20-year-old forward Lane Olson to the Eagles lineup after the speedy forward missed the previous 13 games with a lower body injury. Prior to his injury, Olson was in the AJHL’s top five in scoring.
“It was certainly great to see him back in the lineup, but obviously it’s going to take some time for him to get back into game shape,” admitted Milne. “He’s got some rust on him and his speed is not there yet, but he’ll use the next few weeks to get ready for the playoff battles head. Lane is a big part of our team and we'll be counting on his speed and offensive production down the stretch.”
NOTEBOOK: Canmore will continue their current four-game home-stand with a Family Day Holiday Monday matinee game against the Calgary Mustangs (11-39-3) on Feb. 15. Game time is 2 PM. . . There will be a free “Skate with the Eagles” opportunity for all fans immediately following the game (4:45-5:45 ish) . . . Injuries are starting to take a toll on the Eagle's lineup as forwards Riley Risling and Kyle Pauls both suffered shoulder injuries on Friday and Saturday night respectively. Both are expected to be out of the Eagle lineup for the next 2-8 weeks. Defenceman Cole Noble has also been out of the lineup since Jan. 22 with a separated shoulder, while fellow defenceman Brayden Biccum has missed the past 12 games with concussion issues.