PHOTO: The Canmore Eagles made it five wins in a row last night defeating the Calgary Canucks 2-1 in Calgary. (Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
Crazy. Absolutely Crazy!
Was it just two weeks ago when the Canmore Eagles limped home from a nightmarish three-game Northern Division road trip with three straight losses and an Alberta Junior Hockey League record of 6-10-1?
The team’s overall prognosis was not looking good. Their leading scorer Luke Simpson was out of the lineup with a dislocated elbow, their captain Nils Moser was out with a bad knee, their top rookie forward Lane Olson was out with mono, their Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne was leaving for a week to attend Hockey Canada’s Junior A Selection camp, and the team’s upcoming schedule looked horrific with four straight games against Southern Division powerhouses Brooks Bandits and Okotoks Oilers.
Fast forward 14 days and the Canmore Eagles are suddenly “living the dream” having reeled off five consecutive victories, all by one goal margins, and now sport a respectful record of 11-10-1. It is the first time that Canmore's record has been above the .500 mark since Sept. 21.
The latest victory came on Monday night in Calgary when the Eagles defeated the Canucks 2-1 before 241 fans at the Max Bell Arena.
Bryan Arneson (7th) and recently acquired Joe Serpico (6th) put the Eagles up 2-0 before the game was 10 minutes old and rookie netminder Ryan Ferguson held the fort the rest of the way stopping all but one of the 26 shots directed his way. Canmore outshot the Canucks 35-26 on the night, including a 10-5 margin in the third period.
“We had a ton of chances tonight and you certainly have to give their goaltender (Adin Hill) some credit as he played very well,” said Milne afterwards. “We put in a good effort and realistically should have scored a few more with the chances we had. Anytime you win five in a row, you need to have everyone contributing. We have been solid in all aspects of our game. The boys are on a big high right now and deservedly so. I am happy for them”.
The Eagles, who have played seven of their past nine games on the road, now get to enjoy life at home as they will play their next four games at home and will not have to board the bus for an away game until Saturday, Nov. 23 – a stretch of 18 days.
The Whitecourt Wolverines will provide their first opposition on Friday night (Nov. 8), with the Calgary Mustangs on tap for Saturday night (Nov. 9). The Wolverines have beaten the Eagles twice this season winning 4-3 at the AJHL Showcase weekend on Sept. 26 at Spruce Grove and by a 3-2 count in Whitecourt on Oct. 20.
NOTEBOOK: After missing the past 13 games with a knee injury, Eagles captain Nils Moser returned to the lineup last night. . . Forward Jeremy Margeson also returned to the lineup after sitting out one game to recover from a myriad of bumps and bruises. . . Forward Lane Olson is also back skating with the club, but is probably a week or two away from game action. . . Forward Jordan Revie sat out last night’s game with an upper body injury. . . Goaltender Ryan Ferguson, who picked up the AJHL “Player of Week” award on Monday, has won his past four games and sports an overall record of 7-4, a 2.29 Goals Against Average and a Save Percentage of .933.