The Canmore Eagles (1-1) will face another serious litmus test over the next week as they will meet the Calgary Mustangs (1-1) in a home and home series in early Alberta Junior Hockey League regular season action.
The Eagles, who opened their regular season last weekend with a 5-1 loss to the Drumheller Dragons (Sept. 6), but rebounded with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Canucks 4-3 on Sept. 7, will host the Mustangs at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Friday, Sept. 13 and then travel to Calgary to face the Mustangs on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The Mustangs lost their season opener 5-3 to the Olds Grizzlys on Sept. 7, but also rebounded to post a 3-1 home-ice victory over the highly touted Okotoks Oilers on Sept. 8.
“The regular season is just beginning, but this series with the Mustangs is very important for us as we try to establish our team identity,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose team defeated the Mustangs 4-1 in exhibition action on August 30. “These two games against the Mustangs should provide us with a good measuring stick to see how we stack up. We fully expect to be battling with the Mustangs for playoff positioning by the end of the year so these four points are very important for both clubs”.
During the Eagles first two games of the 2013-14 regular season, Milne inserted a total of eight different rookies into his lineup.
“As is to be expected, some of our rookies played very well and some didn’t have the starts we were hoping for,” said Milne. “With six days off between games, we hope our rookies will now have a better understanding of our team systems and are more prepared to handle the faster pace of playing Junior A hockey. As coaches, we certainly haven’t confirmed our starting lineup yet as we are still evaluating which players will give us the best chance to win on any given night.”
NOTEBOOK: Kidsport will be hosting a complimentary pre-game BBQ before Friday night's home game. Come a little early and enjoy the BBQ with all donations going to Kidsport. . . The Mustangs have a new Head Coach this season as Derek Stuart takes over the reins after serving as an assistant coach for the Okotoks Oilers last season. . . During the 2012-13 AJHL season, the Mustangs won four of their six games with the Eagles, with five of the six games decided by just one goal. . . Following Friday’s home game with Calgary, the Eagles will have just one more home game in the month of September as the Olds Grizzlys are scheduled to pay a visit to Canmore on Tuesday, Sept. 24.