PHOTO: The Canmore Eagles and Drumheller Dragons will face each other one more time on Friday night in Canmore before the two teams collide in next week's AJHL playoffs. – Pam Doyle file photo.
UPCOMING HOME GAME: Friday, March 4 – Drumheller Dragons at Canmore – 7 PM
When the Canmore Eagles take on the visiting Drumheller Dragons Friday night in their final game of their 60-game Alberta Junior Hockey League regular season schedule, it will be interesting to see what kind of lineups both teams put on the ice.
Regardless of the outcome of Friday night’s game, the Eagles and Dragons will meet each other in the best-of-five, opening round of the Southern Division playoffs in less than one week’s time.
The Eagles will finish the season in fourth-place and will enjoy the home ice advantage for the upcoming playoff series against the fifth-place Dragons. Games One and Two of the series will be played in Canmore on Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11 before the series shifts to Drumheller for Games 3 and Game 4 (if necessary).
Both the Eagles and Dragons have injuries to some key players, so with nothing on line but pride, both teams may choose to give their injured warriors a little rest.
The Eagles also received a couple of suspensions from the AJHL this week as forwards Colby Livingstone is suspended for the next two games and Jake Ashton received a one game suspension as a result of some altercations in last Tuesday’s 8-5 victory over the Olds Grizzlys.
With Eagle forwards Matt Forchuk and Logan Ferguson now eight points back in their pursuit of claiming the AJHL’s scoring championship with just one game left on their schedule, both players might also have earned a night off. Both Forchuk and Ferguson have 72 points on the season, good enough for a fourth-place tie in the scoring parade.
When asked to comment on the Eagles preparations for their final regular season game, Canmore Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne was unusually quiet.
“To be honest, I’m not sure who will be in or out of our lineup for Friday,” said Milne. “Friday’s game will be our fifth game in the past eight nights, so a few of the boys are kind of banged up and could use some rest. My only real concern right now is be healthy and ready to go when the playoffs begin next Thursday.”
In their five previous games played this season, the Dragons have won three times by scores of 5-3, 7-6 (OT) and 6-3, while the Eagles have won by scores of 6-3 and 3-1.
OFFICIAL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE – CANMORE VS DRUMHELLER
Game 1 – Thursday, March 10 @ Canmore 7:00pm
Game 2 – Friday, March 11 @ Canmore 7:00pm
Game 3 – Sunday, March 13 @ Drumheller 4:00pm
Game 4 – Monday, March 14 @ Drumheller 7:00pm*
Game 5 – Wednesday, March 16 @ Canmore 7:00pm*
NOTEBOOK: The Dragons eliminated the Eagles in the first-round of the playoffs in 2013 and also eliminated the Eagles in the second round during the 2014 playoffs. . . Playoff tickets for Game One (Thursday, March 10) and Game Two (Friday, March 11) will go on sale during the second intermission of Friday night's last regular season home game. Advance tickets can also be purchased at the Canmore Recreation Centre from 4-6 pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Playoff ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors/students and $10 for Children. . . The Eagles will be holding their 21st Annual Award’s Dinner on Saturday March 5 at the Cornerstone Theatre. The night will feature entertaining speeches, plenty of awards, great food, and a silent auction. Tickets are just $50 and everyone is welcome to attend.