PHOTO: Canmore's Roman Melzer scored his first ever AJHL goal last night to help the Eagles register a 2-1 victory over the Okotoks Oilers. (photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
It was a night for the “unsung heroes” to rise to the occasion on Tuesday night at the Canmore Recreation Centre as the Canmore Eagles won their third straight Alberta Junior Hockey League game defeating the Okotoks Oilers 2-1 before 332 spectators.
Austen Hebert, with his fourth goal of the season, and rookie defenceman Roman Melzer, with his first-ever AJHL goal, lead the way offensively for the Eagles, while rookie netminder Ryan Ferguson effectively shut the door defensively stopping all but one of the Oilers 42 shots to improve his early-season record to 5-4. The Eagles were outshot 42-27 on the night.
Ferguson, who now fashions a “Goals Against Average” of just 2.59 and a save percentage of .929, was named the Eagles “Star of the Game” for the fifth time this season.
With three consecutive victories over AJHL Southern Division powerhouses Okotoks, Brooks and Okotoks over the past five days, Canmore now owns a record of 9-10-1 at the 1/3 mark of the 60-game AJHL schedule.
“That was a total team effort tonight,” said Assistant Coach and GM Jeremy Reich, who has been calling the shots behind the Eagle bench for all three victories while Head Coach Andrew Milne has been away assisting Hockey Canada with the Team Canada West JR A selection camp. “Everybody played hard, everybody sacrificed, and they were rewarded for their effort. Guys like Jeremy Margeson, Jeremy Gordon and Austen Hebert all played a lot of tough minutes for us, and what can you say about Ferguson – he was outstanding again tonight and certainly kept us in the game.”
The Eagles will now hit the road for a pair of games starting Friday night (Nov. 1) in Brooks and wrapping up in Calgary against the Canucks on Monday Nov. 4.
Canmore will then return home for four straight games with tilts against Whitecourt Wolverines (Friday, Nov. 8), Calgary Mustangs (Sat. Nov. 9), Okotoks Oilers (Thur. Nov. 14) and Grande Prairie Storm (Fri. Nov. 15).
NOTEBOOK: Jeremy Gordon, who has played a strong physical game for the Eagles all season long, picked up his first point of the season last night assisting on Melzer’s goal. . .Captain Nils Moser, who went down with a knee injury on Sept. 27, is skating with the Eagles and is expected back in the lineup sometime next week . . .Eagle forwards Luke Simpson (dislocated elbow), Lane Olson (mono), Ryley Risling (strep throat) and Colton Sandboe (concussion) all remain on the injured list. . . The Eagles are 7-3 in their 10 home games in 2013.