“I am absolutely ecstatic to be coming back to Canmore. I am so lucky to have a second chance to resume my hockey career in Canmore. Canmore is such a great place to play junior hockey. I really missed the town, the players and my billet family. My heart is in Canmore!”
Zack Rassell quotes from August 15, 2012 upon hearing the news that he had been re-acquired by the Canmore Eagles from the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL.
Sunday, September 23, 2012 – After five regular season games of the 2012-2013 Alberta Junior Hockey League season, it would appear that the Canmore Eagles are also pleased to have Zack Rassell back in their lineup.
The 20-year-old, and fourth-year AJHL veteran, scored two goals last night to lead the Canmore Eagles to a 3-2 road victory over the Calgary Canucks and extend the Eagle’s current winning streak to four games. The Eagles outshot the Canucks 32-24 on the night and improved their early season record to 4-1.
Rassell now leads the team in scoring with eight points (4 goals and 4 assists) and has been named the Eagle’s “Star of the Game” in three of the team’s first five games.
While Rassell has now moved up to fourth-place in the AJHL scoring parade, the Eagles also received some key assistance from a pair of other veterans as 20-year-old Steven Phee scored the game winning game in the final minute of the third period and goaltender Cameron Barnes provided the team with another solid outing in the Eagle’s net. It was Phee’s third goal in his past two games and Barnes second straight win since returning from the WHL’s Kelowna Rocket’s training camp.
“It wasn’t a pretty affair but good teams find a way to win and we did that last night,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “We did what we had to. It’s a tough building to play in and I’m proud that the boys didn’t break and get frustrated. Barnes was outstanding in net for us. Both of their goals were flukes – one was a tip in mid-air and the other was a shot from behind the net.”
The Eagles will continue their current five game road trip with a trip to Okotoks on Tuesday night Sept. 25 for a tilt against the Oilers before they head north to Spruce Grove for a pair of games at the AJHL Showcase weekend Sept. 28 (Grande Prairie) and Sept. 29 (Bonnyville).
NOTEBOOK: What a difference a year makes. In comparison to last season, the Eagles are off to a tremendous start. After five games last season, the Eagles were 0-5 and had been outscored 20-3 in the process. This year, the Eagles are 4-1 and have outscored their opposition 16-11. The Eagles didn’t record a road victory until Game 21 last year when they defeated the Canucks 3-2 on Nov. 5. . . Eight Eagle players, including rookie players Jordon Revie and Connor Wilson, have at least three points this season. . . Rassell, Phee and Connor Hoekstra lead the team in goals scored with four apiece. Rookie defenceman Aston McLeod returned to the lineup last night after sitting out Friday’s game against Drumheller, while 16-year-old forward Kyle Pauls drew the short straw. . . Next home game for the Eagles is Saturday, October 6 against the Calgary Canucks.