NEXT GAME – Saturday, January 5 – Olds Grizzlys at Canmore Eagles, 7 pm
Friday, January 4, 2013 – You can put another “W” in the Win column for the Canmore Eagles!
The Eagles extended their current Alberta Junior Hockey League winning streak to three games last night as they defeated the home town Calgary Canucks 3-2 in overtime at the Max Bell Arena.
Eagle captain Riley Point scored the winning goal (9th) at 3:02 of overtime, while Zack Rassell (13) and Connor Wilson (5) had the other Eagle goals. It was the Eagles first victory in overtime in six overtime games played thus far this season.
It was a huge victory for Canmore as they played the game without six regular starters in their lineup. Leading goal scorer Steven Phee and netminder Cameron Barnes were game-time scathes due to the flu, while forwards Nils Moser and Jordan Revie, defenceman Nikolas Kosman and goaltender Ty Swabb also missed the game with more significant injuries.
Rookie Eagle goaltender Ryan Ferguson, a 17-year-old emergency call-up from the Calgary Royals Midget AAA, stopped 17 of 19 Canuck shots to record his first ever AJHL victory. Canmore outshot the Canucks by a 34-19 margin.
“We showed a lot of character last night,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “We outshot and out-chanced them by a wide margin, but we didn’t get frustrated when we didn’t score. Point showed a lot of pure determination on the game winning goal and that is why he is our captain.
“Ferguson also played well for us in the nets and he seemed to get more comfortable as the game wore on. He found his confidence and made some really big stops for us late in the third period.”
With the victory, Canmore (13-19-5) now sits in seventh place, and the last playoff spot, in the AJHL Southern Division standings with 31 points. The Eagles are just two points back of both the fifth and sixth place Calgary Mustangs and Olds Grizzlys. Canmore has also played three less games than the Mustangs, and five fewer games than the Grizzlys.
The Eagles will get a crack at both teams in the next few days as they will host the Olds Grizzlys (15-24-3) on Saturday Jan. 5 and the Calgary Mustangs (14-21-5) on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Both games will be played at the Canmore Recreation Centre at 7 pm.
NOTEBOOK: Eagle forward Simon Philp returned to the lineup for his first game of the year after the 6’2, 175 lb forward underwent hip surgery in the Fall. . . The Eagles have played the Olds Grizzlys three times this season with the home team winning all three games. The Grizzlys won in Olds 5-2 on Sept. 8, and 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 5, while Canmore rebounded for a physical 4-2 win on home-ice on Dec. 20. . . The Grizzlys are currently riding a nine game losing streak. . . The Eagles will honour Ken Hewitt (Chair of the 2012 World Cup Organizing Committee) and many of his volunteers at Saturday’s night’s home game against Olds. . . The Eagles have just 12 regular season home games remaining on their schedule.
Photo – Eagle captain Riley Point scores the overtime winner on Jan. 3 in Calgary.