PHOTO: Canmore's Matt Forchuk and his Eagle teammates will be looking to rebound on Friday night when they travel to Calgary to take on the Canucks. (Photo courtesy of Pam Doyle)
Friday, Feb. 5 – Canmore at Calgary Canucks
Saturday, Feb. 6 – Canmore at Olds Grizzlys
For the Canmore Eagles, it’s time to hit the re-set button!
With just 12 regular season games remaining before the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs begin in early March, the Eagles need to regain their focus and start putting up some points in the Southern Division standings.
“We are treating our final 12 games as the start of a new season,” confirmed Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club is coming off a disastrous 2-11 record during January. “Everything that could go wrong for us in January, did go wrong. It was our busiest month of our schedule, we played some top-tiered teams, and unfortunately we ran into both injuries and suspensions at the same time. As a team, we just seemed to lose our focus and we got into a bad funk.
“Fortunately, we’ve already secured a playoff spot, so we need to use the next four weeks to put some wins together and hopefully regain our confidence. We still have the opportunity to secure home-ice advantage for the first-round of the playoffs, and that will be our goal going forward. As individuals, and as a team, we are certainly capable of playing much better hockey going forward.”
Canmore currently sits in fifth-place in the Southern Division standings with a record of 20-24-4 and 44 points. They trail the fourth-place Drumheller Dragons by a single point, but do enjoy a game in hand on the Dragons. The fourth-place team will secure home-ice advantage in the first-round of the upcoming playoffs.
The Eagles will begin their final 12-game segment of their regular season schedule with a pair of road games this weekend as they will travel to Calgary on Friday to face the sixth-place Canucks (16-29-3), before heading to Olds on Saturday to play the seventh-place Grizzlys (16-29-2).
In their four games against the Calgary Canucks this season, the Eagles won the first two games by scores of 5-2 and 6-3, but have dropped the last two games by identical 3-2 scores.
In their four previous games against the Olds Grizzlys this season, the Eagles have won twice 5-3 and 4-2, but also lost by scores of 4-2 and 7-2.
“No doubt about it, these games are huge this weekend,” said Milne. “We need to start winning some hockey games. We’ve had a good week of practice and hopefully we’re ready to go.”
NOTEBOOK: Despite their January slide, the Eagles still have two players in the AJHL’s Top Ten scoring parade with Matt Forchuk (59 points) in fifth-place and line-mate Logan Ferguson in sixth-place with 58 points. . . .The Eagles also lead the entire AJHL in powerplay goals with 64 goals on 260 opportunities.