PHOTO: Logan Ferguson had a big night on Saturday evening scoring three goals to lead the Eagles to a 6-3 home ice victory over the Drumheller Dragons. (photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
By Russ Ullyot – Courtesy of Crag and Canyon / Sunmendia
Logan Ferguson emerged the newest scoring sensation for the Canmore Eagles on Saturday night.
The second-year forward recorded his first multi-goal game of his Alberta Junior Hockey League career with a hat trick in a 6-3 win over the Drumheller Dragons before 457 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
“I’ve been waiting for it. My linemates really helped me out,” Ferguson said. He was partnered with Kyle Pauls and Brett Radford on Friday night. They were easily the best forward line on the ice and the only totally veteran unit upfront for the Eagles.
With the victory, Canmore improved its record to two wins and two losses on the season.
GM/Head Coach Andrew Milne said he expects Ferguson to bust out this season and be a leader. He was awarded an ‘A’ in his second season and being just 18 years old.
“Logan has been a little snakebitten this season,” Milne said. “I just told him this morning just to relax and good things will come your way. The next thing you will have is points two and three, and now he has three goals through four games.”
Ferguson scored twice in nine seconds in the first period. He tucked home a cross-ice pass from Kyle Pauls on a two-on-two rush at 10:36 then nine seconds later sent another shot under Drumheller goaltender Xavier Burghardt as he flew done the right wing to make it 2-1 for the Eagles.
The sophomore player completed his hat trick at 3:21 of the middle frame, when he backhanded the puck off a Dragon during a scramble in front of goal.
For Ferguson it is his first multi-goal game as a junior A player. He appeared in all 60 games as a rookie last season, scoring eight times. He was looking to improve on that by quite a bit this season, and hasn’t put it beyond his realm to be a point-per game player.
“That would definitely be a good thing to have, but I think more importantly would be to have a better record — above .500 on the season,” said Ferguson.
The offensive outburst came as a bit of a surprise for a team that scored just seven goals in its first three games. Although, talking to GM/Head Coach Andrew Milne it was not all that much a surprise.
“Our guys were embarrassed with the first game they played at home [an 11-2 opening game loss to the Brooks Bandits eight days ago]. We have a good fan base, and a good support group, we wanted to show them what we have got,” he said.
Other Canmore goals came from Braiden Doucette, Adamu Tanaka and Matt Forchuk
Drumheller goals came from Jacob Schofield , Craig Ofner and Tyrell Mappin.
In goal for Canmore was Ryan Gilchrist, who appears to be gaining more and more confidence since joining the team at the end of training camp. He made 23 saves, including several key blocks in the second period.
“I think one of the best lessons he learned was getting to watch from the stands in the opening game. He then played in Game 2 [a 6-2 loss to Brooks on Sept. 12] and the game in Calgary [a 3-2 win on Thursday] he was phenomenal,” Milne said.
“Tonight, I thought he was calm, he was cool. He got beat early on a shot I am sure he would want back and responded with a great game. It is exactly what we want our goalie to do.”
Burghardt started for Drumheller but was replaced by Johnny Hogue following Feguson’s third goal.
It was the Dragons who had the hot start. An early giveaway allowed Schofield to skate in uncontested on Gilchrist and rifle a low shot past the keeper’s right pad with just 42 seconds played in this game.
Ferguson then scored twice. Doucette made it 3-1 for the Eagles when his point shot was deflected up and over Burghardt dropping neatly into the goal at 15 minutes.
“I don’t even know what happened. (The puck) came at me and I blocked it. I closed my eyes and it went in,” Doucette said about scoring in his Eagle debut.
The Dragons would get within one before the period ended when Ofner tucked it the puck off a scramble in front of the Eagles’ goal.
Radford, who had two assists in the first period, missed on his chance to get a goal in the opening 20 minutes when Burghardt turned his shot wide on a breakaway chance in the final minute.
The period ended 3-2 in favour of the Eagles, who also outshot the Dragons 13-11.
Tanaka gave the Eagles the quick start in the second period. He rapped in a cross-crease pass at 1:44 for a 4-2 lead.
Ferguson completed his hat trick just over two minutes later. It was the end of the night for the Burghardt.
The goalie change didn’t signify the end of the scoring for the home side though as Forchuk made up for his first-period miss with a second-period goal at 16:47. He got in behind the Dragons’ defence and skating across Hogue lifted a backhand over the goalie’s left shoulder just under the cross bar.
The Dragons would get the lone third period goal when Mappin scored on the power play at 15:07.
Drumheller is now 2-3 on the season.
Next up, Canmore hosts the Okotoks Oilers on Tuesday, 7 p.m. at the Rec Centre. The Oilers are 2-1 on the season after defeating the Brooks Bandits 4-2 on Saturday night.
EAGLES NEST: Canmore was without captain Jakob Lavoie, serving the first of two-game suspension, and fellow d-man Griffin Mumby as well as forward Kurt Hildebrand. … The pronunciation is the same, just the spelling is different, the Eagles have a Braeden Saretsky, Brayden Biccum and now a Braiden Doucette. … Doucette brings the Eagles roster to the league mandated six 20-year-olds a team is allowed to dress for a game, with Lavoie, Radford, Hildebrand Lane Olson and Brett Schimmel the other players in their final year of junior eligibility.
DRAGONS 3 at EAGLES 6
At Canmore, Saturday, Sept. 19
1. Drumheller: Wunder (3) (Schofield) 00:42
2. Canmore: Ferguson (1) (Pauls, Radford) 10:36
3. Canmore: Ferguson 2 (2) (Radford) 10:45
4. Canmore: Doucette (1) 15:00 PP
5. Drumheller: Ofner (1) (Chynoweth, Freed) 18:30
PENALTIES – Duncan Drum (slashing) 5:35; Hand Drum (roughing) 14:53; Schimmel Can (high sticking) 16:21; Wylie Drum (tripping).
6. Canmore: Tanaka (1) (Prevost) 1:44
7. Canmore: Ferguson 3 (3) (Schimmel) 3:51
8. Canmore: Forchuk (2) (Schimmel, Prevost) 16:47
PENALTIES – King Drum, Wihak Can (roughing) 3:03.
9. Drumheller: Mappin (2) (Schofield, Kartusch) 15:07 PP
PENALTIES – Ferguson Can (boarding) 6:22; Cheynoweth Drum (roughing), Radford Can (double roughing) 14:01; Wylie Drum (checking from behind, game misconduct) 16:00.
Shots on goal by:
Drumheller 11 7 8 — 26
Canmore 13 19 3 — 35
Goaltenders: Drumheller – Burghardt (1-1) 23:51, 12-17; Hogue 35:46, 17-18. Canmore – Gilchrist (2-1).
Power Plays: Drumheller 1 for 3. Canmore 1 for 5.
Referee: Dasiliva. Linesmen: Gregory, Kissner.