PHOTO: Eagles captain Connor Wilson had a goal and an assist to help the Eagles to a 5-3 victory over the Drumheller Dragons on Monday afternoon. Wilson now sits in 4th-place in AJHL scoring with 60 points in just 51 games played.
UPCOMING HOME GAMES:
Camrose Kodiaks – Friday, Feb. 20 – 7 PM
Brooks Bandits – Saturday, Feb. 21 – 7 PM
The Canmore Eagles defeated the Drumheller Dragons 5-3 in Alberta junior Hockey League action on Monday afternoon and have now clinched a spot in the upcoming AJHL playoffs.
The victory, before a season high crowd of 509 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre, improves the Eagles record to 25-29-2 and ensures that Canmore will finish no worse than sixth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings.
With just four games left to play in their regular season, the Eagles could still catch the Olds Grizzlys for fifth-place. The Grizzlys lead the Eagles by three points and have five games left to play, including a key game in Canmore on Friday, Feb. 27.
Lane Olson (9), Simon Philp (16), Joe Serpico (16), Connor Wilson (24) and Jordan Revie (19) scored for the Eagles, while goaltender Ryan Ferguson stopped 29 of the 32 Drumheller shots to record the victory.
“We did what we had to do,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose team started the holiday long weekend with a 5-0 victory in Drumheller on Friday but lost 5-3 to the Calgary Mustangs on Saturday. “We started the game very well, got out to a 3-0 lead and fortunately we were able to hang on. Winning two out of three games on the weekend was a good vote of confidence for the players. We are starting to play some of our best hockey of the season right now.”
Monday’s victory also marked the end of a very hectic couple of weeks for the Eagles as their recent schedule saw them play “seven games in 11 days” and also included over 3,200 km in travel to five different Alberta towns. Canmore will now wrap up their regular season with three home games and only one road game to Calgary to face the Calgary Canucks.
“We just completed one of the most difficult schedules that junior hockey can throw at you and for the most part, I’m proud of the way the players responded,” said Milne. “Now that we’ve secured a spot in the post season, we can now concentrate on getting some rest, getting healthy and working on our game plan. It’s been a very hectic couple of weeks, but our long road trips are now over. We look forward to playing our remaining games when we are rested and ready to go.”
NOTEBOOK: The Canmore Eagles have qualified for the AJHL playoffs in 18 of their 20 years competing in the AJHL . . .Should the Eagles finish the season in sixth-place, they are likely to play the third-place Okotoks Oilers in the opening round of the playoffs. Should the Eagles overtake the Olds Grizzlys to claim fifth-place, they will likely face the fourth-place Drumheller Dragons. . . The Eagles will be holding their Annual Award’s Dinner on Saturday Feb. 28 at the Cornerstone Theatre. Tickets are just $50 and will be on sale in the Eagle’s Nest Lounge during our two home games this weekend.