WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12 – Something to hang their hat on! Something to build on!
The Canmore Eagles may not have been rewarded with the Alberta Junior Hockey League victory that they so badly wanted, but they did come away with a critical point in the Southern Division standings as they suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to the Okotoks Oilers last night at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
Okotoks just seems to have the Eagle’s number as it was the Oiler’s fourth straight victory over Canmore this season and extends their three-season mastery over the Canmore franchise to 15 straight victories. In three of the four games played between the clubs this season, the Eagles have lost twice in overtime, and surrendered a game winning goal with just less than ten seconds to play in the third period.
Just to add a little salt to the wound, the Oilers scored last night’s winning overtime goal while playing short-handed when Oiler’s Robbie Fischer picked off an errant Eagle pass in the Okotok’s end and raced in on a breakaway to give the Oilers the win. 
Despite last night’s set-back, the Eagles played their hearts out offensively as they outshot the Oilers 41-38 and seemed to shake-off the offensive malaise that has plagued the club for the past few weeks.
Had it not been for the strong play of Okotok’s netminder Jared D’Amico, who was named the Oiler’s “Star of the Game”, Canmore could have finally delivered the blow to end the Okotok’s curse.
The Eagles received goals from a pair of their offensive leaders as captain Riley Point scored his 8th goal of the season and Steven Phee chipped in with his team leading 15th goal of the season.
“What can you say about a game like that,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, who inserted affiliate James Fisk as his starting goaltender and shook up his line combinations for the game. “We played a competitive game for 61 minutes, made a bad pass in overtime, and it was game over. But our guys competed tonight and they should be proud of their efforts. When things are not going your way, the only thing you do is work harder and we did that tonight.
“It was good to see Point and Phee get back on the goal sheet for us and Fisk also played a great game for us in goal. We showed some character tonight and if we play like that for the next 28 games, we’ll see some success.”
With the single point earned in the standings, the Eagles (10-16-5) still occupy last place in the AJHL Southern Division with 25 points, but find themselves very much in playoff contention as they are just two points behind seventh-place Calgary Canucks and four points behind the Calgary Mustangs. The Eagles have played three less games than the Canucks, and five less games than the Mustangs.
Canmore will now have a chance to move up in the standings as they will play five games over the next nine days, starting with a very tough weekend road trip with  games in Camrose (Friday Dec. 14), Spruce Grove (Sat. Dec 15) and Sherwood Park (Sun. Dec. 16).
The Eagles will then wrap up their 2012 portion of their 2012-13 AJHL season with a pair of home games next week against the Grande Prairie Storm on Wednesday Dec. 19 and Olds Grizzlys on Thursday, Dec. 20.
NOTEBOOK: Eagle goaltender James Fisk was named the “Star of the Game” for Canmore last night . . . After being a “healthy scratch” for one game, Eagle’s leading scorer Zack Rassell was back in the lineup last night. . .The injury woes continue for the Eagles as Canmore native Nils Moser missed last night’s game with a lower body injury. His return to the lineup is unknown . . .If you want to secure a premium Balsam or Fraser Fir Christmas tree from the Eagle’s X-mas tree lot, you better move fast as only 75 of the 350 X-mas trees remain. The lot is located at the MJ Landscaping lot on Bow Valley Trail. The Eagles expect to sell out of trees by this weekend.