The Canmore Eagles opened the Alberta Junior Hockey League season with a 6-0 win over the Calgary Mustangs on Friday night before 463 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
Ryan Bontorin made 23 saves in recording his first junior A shutout, after a season in which the Eagles failed to hand a goose egg on the opposition.
“I had the same process the whole game, breaking it down into smaller segments and focus on the puck,” said Bontorin. “I had a lot of support.”
Newly appointed captain Logan Ferguson along with Matt Forchuk, who is expected to wear the C on the road, each scored twice. Forchuk finished with four points, adding two assists to his scoring total. Ferguson had one assist for a three-point game. The third member of the forward line, Coy Prevost was credited with two assists.
Other goals came from Daylan Marchi and Braden Saretsky.
Newcomer defenceman Brett Stewart finished with two assists.
Rookie Colton Young finished with two assists, both coming on the power play as the Eagles went 3-for-9 with the man advantage. The Eagles led the AJHL in power play goals last season with 82 and a 25.47 percentage.
“I thought we played really well. Our offence was there. Our defence was there. Our goaltending was good. Our game top to bottom was good,” said Andrew Milne, Eagles GM and head coach.
“We can get better in some areas but I think the guys understand the teaching we gave them all week was in the play tonight.”
Canmore outshot the Mustangs 50-23 with Cole Hayward going the distance in goal for the visitors.
Next up for the Eagles are the Drumheller Dragons on Saturday (7 p.m., Canmore Recreation Centre).
EAGLES NEST: Scratches for Canmore were Kyle Pauls (shoulder) and Cole Noble (sick). … Nolan Kurylo took a stick to the face on his first shift of the game and did not return. He was cut under his left eye. … The Mustangs lineup included Blaise Ankle, who played with the Banff Hockey Academy the past three years.
For more from Russ at the Crag and Canyon: http://www.thecragandcanyon.ca/2016/09/17/eagles-open-with-shutout-victory