NEXT HOME GAME – Saturday, Jan. 12 versus Drayton Valley Thunder at 7 PM
The Canmore Eagles played a “Statement” game last night shocking the Brook’s Bandits with a 4-3 shoot-out victory in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played in Brooks before 1,193 fans.
The win for the Eagles was exceptional in so many ways.
1) It extended the Eagle’s current winning streak to six games. The last time the Eagles had a six game winning streak was November, 2009.
2) Brooks is currently the nation’s #1 ranked team and had not lost at home since last spring’s Enerflex Cup finals (Game Two) on April 19. They were 19-0 at home this season.
3) Brooks had beaten the Canmore Eagles 16 times in a row. The last time Canmore defeated Brooks was Nov. 2, 2010.
4) Canmore is the first team from the Southern Division to beat the Bandits this season.
“You want to talk character, WOW,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne afterwards. “I can’t say enough about our group tonight. Everything stacked up against us and we came out with a win. I am so proud of the group tonight and they should be proud of themselves. Too many guys were warriors to single out any one particular person.”
Riley Point and Steven Phee both scored in the shoot-out and Eagle netminder Cam Barnes stopped two of the three Brook’s shooters to record the shoot-out victory. Barnes was the Eagle’s “Star of the Game” stopping 30 of 33 Brook’s shots. Canmore outshot the Bandits by a 37-33 margin.
Luke Simpson had two goals in regulation (his 12 & 13, and third in two games) and newly acquired defenceman Mattia Bortolotto (4th) had the other Eagle goal during regulation time. The Canmore penalty killers were perfect blanking the normally potent Brook’s powerplay on all six Bandit man advantage opportunities.
With the victory, the Eagles now sport a 16-19-5 record and sit all alone in fifth-place in the Southern Division standings with 37 points. Brooks falls to 37-1-2.
The Eagles will have little time to celebrate however as they are back in action Saturday night (Jan. 12) with a home game against the powerful Drayton Valley Thunder (24-14-5). The Thunder sit just five points out of first-place in the AJHL Northern Division standings. Game time at the Canmore Recreation Centre is 7 pm.
NOTEBOOK: The Eagles played the game in Brooks without the services of defenceman Trey Phillips and forwards Connor Wilson, Jordon Revie and Kyle Pauls . . . Saturday’s home game will be the Eagle’s last game at home until Friday Jan. 25 as Canmore plays their next three games on the road with stops in Calgary Thursday, January 17 against the Canucks, Fort McMurray Sat. January 19, and Drumheller on Wednesday, January 23. . . At the trade deadline on Thursday, January 10, the Eagles traded forward Braeden Music to the Grand Prairie Storm for future considerations. The Eagles would like to thank Braeden for his one and half years of service and wish him all the best with the Storm.
PHOTO: Luke Simpson had a three point night in Brooks. Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson