“Skate with the Eagles” immediately following Monday’s game.

After losing 16 straight Alberta Junior Hockey League games to the Okotoks Oilers, the Canmore Eagles finally put an end to the streak on Saturday night when local boy Luke Simpson broke a 2-2 deadlock with just under two minutes remaining in the third period to provide the Eagles with a stunning 3-2 victory over the Oilers.
It was the first victory for Canmore over Okotoks since October 5, 2010. The victory, before a season high crowd of 526 at the Canmore Recreation Centre, also ended a seven game winless streak for the injury depleted Eagles.
Simpson and netminder Cameron Barnes were the heroes for the Eagles.
Simpson also scored a first period goal to up his goal total to 24 on the season. Simpson has been on a roll of late scoring eight goals in his last nine games and is now tied with Zack Rassell for top spot in the Eagle's goal scoring parade.
Barnes was simply outstanding in the Eagle’s net  stopping  53 of the Oiler’s 55 shots and was named the Eagles “Star of the Game”. Eagle Rookie Alexander Bechtold also scored for Canmore, his 2nd of the season.
The win was significant for Canmore.  The two points earned in the AJHL Southern Division standings provides the club with a bit more breathing room as they try to secure at least the fifth-place position for the upcoming playoffs.
The Eagles, who play four of their remaining five regular season games on home ice, have a four point lead over the sixth-place Calgary Mustangs and Olds Grizzlys.
“It was certainly a big character win for this hockey club,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club is still missing five injured veteran players. “Everyone was on board, everyone showed up, and everyone did what they had to do. We eliminated those few mental mistakes that have been hurting us lately, and Barnsey was outstanding in the nets.
“We’ve lost a lot of very tough games to Okotoks, in so many different ways over the years. It’s good to get this monkey off our back. We’ve now beaten every team in our division this year.”
Next up for the Eagles is a Holiday Monday afternoon home game against the Olds Grizzlys. Game time at the Canmore Recreation Centre is 2:30 PM . There will be a “Skate with the Eagles” opportunity immediately after Sunday’s game. Bring your skates and join us on the ice afterwards! It’s FREE & OPEN to all.
NOTEBOOK: Prior to the game, the “Friends of the Alberta Junior Hockey Society”, represented by Don Allan, presented scholarship awards ranging from $1,500-$2,000 to three Canmore Eagles. . .  Zack Rassell won the “Charles S Noble” Scholarship and will be attending the University of Alaska-Anchorage next year. . .  Connor Wilson and Cameron Barnes also won “Al McDonald Memorial” Scholarships, in honour of long time Sherwood Park General Manager and co-owner Al McDonald. Connor and Cameron have distinguished themselves in their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence. Congratulations. . . Thanks also to the RBC PLAY HOCKEY crew for all their in-game support and promotional contests. Lots of fun.

PHOTO: Canmore's Luke Simpson scored the game winner with under two minutes to play and now has 24 goals on the season.

Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson