The Canmore Eagles will try to extend their current four game Alberta Junior Hockey League winning streak when they host the visiting Calgary Mustangs on Tuesday, January 8 at the Canmore Recreation Centre. Game time is 7 pm.
With more healthy players returning to the Eagle’s lineup following a slew of crippling injuries during the month of November, the Eagle’s roster is now at relatively full strength and the club is quietly making their move up the AJHL Southern Division standings.
After sliding to last place in the eight-team Southern Division standings in mid-December, the Eagles have won their past four games and have moved back up into sixth-place in the standings. Canmore is now just two points back of the Calgary Mustangs for fifth-place and and also enjoy three games in hand on the Calgary club.
“Tuesday’s home game against the Mustangs is obviously another huge game for us,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club is 0-3 against the Mustangs this season. “We lost to them by one goal in both games played in Calgary, and they certainly took it to us in Canmore (an 8-2 loss) when we played them in December with a pretty decimated lineup. Hopefully the boys will remember that loss and they'll come out looking for a little redemption. We don’t just want to make the playoffs, we want to move up the standings and try to claim home-ice advantage for at least the first-round. For us to do that, we need to start beating some teams above us in the standings.”
During their current four game winning streak, the Eagles have literally dominated their opposition. They have outscored their opposition by a 13-5 margin, outshot the opposition by a wide 155-87 margin, and have surrendered just one powerplay goal to the opposition in 12 opportunities.
“With Jeremy Margeson healthy again and Simon Philp returning to the lineup after missing the first 34 games, our penalty killing unit is pretty solid right now,” said Milne. “We’ve put together four pretty good games in a row and I really like the direction we’re going. It’s fun for the boys to come to the rink again. Our confidence level is much improved.”
NOTEBOOK: After missing the past two games with the flu, Steven Phee returned to practice on Monday and may be re-inserted into the lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Mustangs. Phee is leading the Eagles in scoring with 17 goals. . . Goaltender Ty Swabb is also back practicing and might be ready for some game action within the next week. . . Following Tuesday’s home game against the Mustangs, the Eagles head to Brooks on Friday night for a game against the nation’s #1 ranked Bandits. . .The AJHL trade deadline is Thursday, January 10 and all 16 teams must cut down their roster to 23 players.
PHOTO: The Calgary Mustangs have beaten the Canmore Eagles three times this year. Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson.