PHOTO – Trey Phillips had a goal and an assist in last night's 4-3 victory over Calgary. Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson
The Canmore Eagles picked up their first Alberta Junior Hockey League victory of the 2013-14 season last night as they relied on a rookie goaltender and their veteran players to rally back from a 3-1 first period deficit to defeat the visiting Calgary Canucks 4-3. The game was played before 338 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
Saturday night’s come from behind victory certainly helped take away the sting from Friday night’s 5-1 home loss to the Drumheller Dragons and evens the Eagles early season record at 1-1.
After surrendering two goals on the first two shots he faced, Eagle starting netminder Cameron Barnes was given the hook before the five minute mark of the first period and was replaced by rookie Ryan Ferguson. The 18 year-old Calgary product was up to the challenge as he proceeded to stop 28 of the 29 shots he faced, picked up a rare assist, and was named the Eagles “Star of the Game”.
Fourth-year defenceman Trey Phillips, who was the Eagles “Star of the Game” in Friday night’s loss, continued his fine early season play as the 20-year-old assistant captain had a goal and an assist on Saturday night. Fellow 20-year-old veterans Luke Simpson, Jeremy Margeson and Bryan Arneson also chipped in with their first goals of the year.
Unlike Friday night’s opener, the Eagles specialty teams were also very effective as they went two-for-four on the powerplay, and the penalty killers successfully killed all 7 minor penalties.
“It was truly a character win for the boys,” said Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne afterwards. “Ferguson came in off the bench and held the fort for us defensively, which gave our veteran players the opportunity to battle back and eventually win the game for us. It’s tough for a back-up goalie to enter a game at the five minute mark, but Fergy was mentally prepared to go and he bailed us out. Phillips had another strong game for us offensively, while Margeson was outstanding on the penalty kill and also scored a huge goal for us.”
The Eagles next game action will be Friday, Sept. 13 when the Calgary Mustangs pay a visit to the Canmore Recreation Centre. Game time is 7 PM.
NOTEBOOK: The Eagles welcomed back captain Nils Moser to the lineup last night as the big forward missed the league opener on Friday due to a 1-game AJHL suspension from a pre-season altercation. Moser is the first ever Canmore boy to wear the “C” for the Eagles. . . Despite being an AJHL rookie, last night’s victory for Eagle goaltender Ryan Ferguson was actually his 2nd AJHL win as he backstopped the Eagles to a 3-2 victory over the Canucks on Jan. 3, 2013 when he was an emergency call-up from the Calgary Royal AAA Midget club. . . Drumheller goaltender Curtis Skip, who stopped 36 of 37 Eagle shots in Friday night’s 5-1 victory over the Eagles, will certainly be a candidate for the AJHL Canalta Hotels “Player of Week” award as the Dragon netminder stopped 43 of 44 shots on Saturday night to lead the Dragons to their second road win in as many nights defeating the Camrose Kodiaks 3-1 in Camrose. . . Registration for the Canmore Eagles Golf Tournament next Saturday (Sept. 14) at the Brewster Kananaskis Ranch Golf course will close on Monday, Sept. 9. The entry fee is just $129 per person, or $450 for a 4-some, and includes 18 holes green fee, power cart and deluxe BBQ dinner. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.