PHOTO – Eagle forward Joe Serpico celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday night and had a goal and an assist to help the Eagles to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Olds Grizzlys in Olds. (photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
Joe Serpico and Trey Phillips each had a goal and an assist to lead the Canmore Eagles to a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over the Olds Grizzly's in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played Friday night before a packed house of 800 fans at the Olds Sportsplex.
The victory, the Eagle’s third in row, improves the Eagle’s overall record to 25-17-3 and moves the club into a second-place tie with the Okotoks Oilers and the Drumheller Dragons in the AJHL Southern Division standings with 53 points. Both the Oilers and Dragons have played two less games than the Eagles.
Special team play was the difference last night as the Eagles successfully killed off all six Old’s powerplay opportunities, while Serpico (celebrating his 20th birthday) scored his 13th goal of the season on the powerplay early in the third period to help send the game into overtime.
Twenty-year old defenceman Phillips scored the overtime winner at the .21 second mark of overtime to give the Eagle’s the victory. It was Phillip’s team leading 18th goal of the season, and his two point performance moved the speedy rear-guard into 8th-place in the AJHL scoring parade with 46 points. Phillips was also named as the Eagle’s “Star of the Game”.
Rookie goaltender Ryan Ferguson was once again stellar in the Eagle net stopping 26 of 27 Grizzly shots to improve his overall record to 18-8-2. With just one goal allowed, Ferguson also lowered his “Goals Against Average” to 2.31 and improved his “Save Percentage” to .932.
“I’m really proud of the way the guys stuck with it tonight,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club has come out of Olds with three straight victories this season. “It was a good effort by everyone tonight, but our penalty killers were especially strong. We received a huge game from defenceman Jakob Lavoie who was blocking shots all night long. Serpico, and his entire line, also had a great game so it was a perfect way for us to celebrate his birthday. A big two points for our hockey club.”
The Eagle’s next game is Tuesday, January 21 when they travel to Calgary to take on the Mustangs. The game was originally scheduled for Wednesday, January 22. but has been re-scheduled.
Canmore’s next home action will take place on the Jan. 24-25 weekend when they will host the Drumheller Dragons on Friday and entertain the Sherwood Park Crusaders on Saturday. Both games will start at 7 PM at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
NOTEBOOK: Since Serpico was acquired from the Calgary Mustangs in a trade on November 1, the Eagles have gone 16-7-2. The Calgary native has been on fire putting up 23 points in an Eagle sweater in just 25 games and is now third in team scoring with 35 points. . . With last night’s overtime win, the Eagles are 7-3 in extra time this season, going 5-0 in regular overtime action and 2-3 in games that go to a shoot-out.