PHOTO: The Eagles have had a tough time winning games in Camrose lately as they have not defeated the Kodiaks in Camrose for almost five years. (Photo courtesy Julie Wilson)
They may only be listed as Games #27 and #28 on the Canmore Eagles 2013-14 Alberta Junior Hockey League regular season schedule, but this weekend’s road trip to Camrose for a pair of games against their Southern Division rival Kodiaks will be a true litmus test for this year’s Eagle hockey club.
The Eagles are off to a solid start this year with a record of 14-11-1 and currently lead the Kodiaks by three points in the AJHL Southern Division standings. Unfortunately for Canmore, success in Camrose has been hard to come by as the Eagles have not beaten the Kodiaks (10-12-6) at the Encana Arena since sneaking out with a 5-4 victory way back on December 11, 2008.
“It’s been almost five years since we’ve won in their building, so obviously it’s been a tough place for us to pick up a win,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club is 4-6-1 on the road this season. “The Encana Arena is a pretty intimidating rink to play in. It’s a big rink in every way – 2,300 seats, 700 standing room spots, instant replay jumbo-tron, press boxes, bright lights – you name it, they’ve got it in Camrose. We just need to go up there and concentrate on the task at hand. We need to be completely focused, ignore the noise, and stick to our style of play. But we look forward to going into their building this year. We’ve won eight of our last nine games, including big road wins in Brooks and Okotoks, so we’re playing well too. It should be an excellent weekend of hockey.”
Camrose is also playing some of their best hockey of the season having lost just twice in their past 10 games. The Kodiaks also shook up their lineup on November 8 when they made a 3 for 2 player trade with the Okotoks Oilers and acquired Spencer Kryczka, Stefan Danielson and Braeden Salverda.
NOTEBOOK: The Eagles will head up to Camrose with several of their key players still on the injured list. Defenceman John Stevens and Jakob Lavoie have been out of the lineup since being injured on November 9, while 20-year sniper Luke Simpson has not played since Oct. 12 . . . The Eagles are now entering a very busy portion of the schedule as the team will play 14 games from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21, a stretch of 29 days. . . Canmore’s next home game is Tuesday, November 26 when the Olds Grizzlys pay a visit to the Canmore Recreation Centre.