PHOTO – The Eagles will have to be at their best this weekend when they play the Okotoks Oilers in a home and home series. (Julie Wilson photo)
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 15 – Okotoks Oilers 7 PM
Holiday Monday, Feb. 17 – Calgary Canucks – 2:30 PM
With only seven games remaining in their 2013-14 Alberta Junior Hockey League regular season schedule, the Canmore Eagles are gearing up for a stiff challenge this weekend when they face the second-place Okotoks Oilers (31-17-5) in a home and home series.
The Eagles (29-21-3) will travel to Okotoks on Friday night (Feb. 14th), and then the two teams will travel back to Canmore for a rematch on Saturday night (Feb. 15th). Game time at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Saturday night is 7 PM.
The two games against the Oilers will go a long way in determining where the Eagles eventually finish up in the AJHL’s Southern Division standings and whether they can hold onto fourth-place and earn home-ice advantage in the opening round of the upcoming playoffs.
Canmore currently leads the fifth-place Camrose Kodiaks by a single point in the battle for fourth-place.
In their four previous meetings this season, the Eagles have beaten the Oilers three times by scores of 4-3, 2-1 and 4-3, while the Oilers won the last meeting by a 2-1 score. All four games were played during the months of October and November.
“We’ve enjoyed some success against Okotoks this season, but every game has been extremely close and the goaltending has been exceptional,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “The entire league is extremely competitive this season and anyone is capable of beating anyone on any given night. There’s just seven points separating second-place from fifth-place, so we are still in a position to control our own destiny. If we can get on a bit of a roll, we could still move up a few spots in the standings.”
Following their back-to-back games with Okotoks, the Eagles will wrap up the Family Day weekend with a home game on Monday afternoon against the Calgary Canucks (14-35-3). Game time on Holiday Monday is 2:30 pm. At the conclusion of Monday’s game, the Eagles will hold a free “Skate with Eagles” promotion at the Canmore Recreational Centre from 5-6 pm. Please bring your skates to Monday’s game and lace them up for a chance for some conversation and camaraderie with the players.
NOTEBOOK: Here is a rundown of the remaining schedule for the four teams fighting for home-ice advantage in the upcoming best-of-five opening round playoffs. The Brooks Bandits (33-13-8) have 74 points and look destined for a first-place finish and a first-round bye. The second-place team will play the seventh-place team, the third-place team will play the sixth-place team, while the fourth-place team will play the fifth-place team.
OKOTOKS – 2nd Place – 31-17-5 – 67 Points – 7 Games Remaining
HOME (5) – Canmore, Olds, Calgary Must (2), Drumheller
AWAY (2) – Canmore, Drumheller
DRUMHELLER – 2nd Place – 30-17-5 – 65 Points – 8 Games Remaining
HOME (5) –Olds, Calgary Can, Okotoks, Canmore, Camrose
AWAY (3) – Calgary Must, Calgary Can, Okotoks
CANMORE – 4th Place – 29-21-3 – 61 Points – 7 Games Remaining
HOME (3) Okotoks, Calgary Canucks, Brooks
AWAY (4) – Okotoks, Drumheller, Brooks, Calgary Mustangs
CAMROSE – 5th Place – 25-18-10 – 60 Points – 7 Games Remaining
HOME (4) – Spruce Grove, Calgary Mustangs, Calgary Canucks, Olds
AWAY (3) – Brooks, Lloydminster, Drumheller