PHOTO – Matt Forchuk (#10) had a four-point night to lead the Eagles to a 8-1 victory in Fort McMurray on Friday night.- file phto courtesy of Pam Doyle.
NEXT GAME – Canmore at Calgary Mustangs – Sunday, Nov. 15
NEXT HOME GAME – Drayton Valley at Canmore – Friday, Nov. 20
Like the sagging fortunes of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons are struggling this season.
The Canmore Eagles added to the Oil Barons misery on Friday night as they blasted the home-town Oil Barons 8-1 in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played before 1,473 fans at the Casman Centre in Fort McMurray.
The win, the Eagles fifth straight and fourth straight road victory, improves the Eagles regular season record to 14-7-2, while the Oil Barons fell to last-place in the eight-team Northern Division standings with a record of 3-18-4.
Matt Forchuk once again led the Eagles with a four-point night with two goals (13 and 14th) and two assists, while Braiden Doucette (7th), Cole Noble (1st), Brett Radford (11th), Braden Saretsky (4th), Adam Tisdale (4th) and Coy Prevost (9th) had the other Canmore goals. Tisdale also picked up two assists for a three-point performance.
With his four point performance, Forchuk now enjoys a five point lead in the AJHL scoring parade as the second-year Eagle player now has 36 points in 23 games played, five more than second-place Jake Mykitiuk of the Spruce Grove Saints and Eagle line-mate Lane Olson. The third member of the Eagles top line, Logan Ferguson also picked up a pair of assists and moves into fourth-place in the AJHL scoring parade with 30 points.
Canmore netminder Ryan Gilchrist stopped all but one of the 24 Oil Baron shots directed his way to improve his record to 7-3-1. Canmore outshot the Oil Barons 42-24 on the night.
“We played a pretty solid game top to bottom,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club outshot the Oil Barons 25-3 in the first period. “I liked our focus coming into the game and it was evident with our start. We started well and built ourselves some breathing room. It was great to see the offence come together and we had the opportunity to give everyone a lot of ice time again. This experience will help us down the road.”
The Eagles will attempt to keep their five-game winning streak intact on Sunday night when they travel to Calgary to take on the Mustangs (4-17-2).
The Mustangs, who have not played since Tuesday, Nov. 10, should be fired up for the game as they will have a new coach as General Manager Jeff Richards fired former Head Coach Chad Allen on November 12 and will take over behind the bench. The game will also be the first home game for the Mustangs at the Father David Bauer Arena this season as they have been forced to play their home games out of the Max Bell Arena this season while their home rink was closed for renovations.
NOTEBOOK: Both Eagle netminders, Ryan Gilchrist and Ryan Bontorin, sport identical 7-3-1 records on the season . . . After absorbing 11-2 and 6-2 losses to the Brooks Bandits on opening weekend which put their goal differential at a minus 13 to start the season, the Eagles are now on the plus side of the ledger with a +5 goal differential.