PHOTO: MATT FORCHUK (#10) AND LOGAN FERGUSON (#20) LOOK FORWARD TO EARNING A SPOT ON HOCKEY CANADA'S TEAM CANADA WEST. (-Photo courtesy of Pam Doyle)
As the Canmore Eagles (16-10-2) prepare for a pair of tough back-to-back road games against the Camrose Kodiaks (17-7-3) this weekend, Eagle Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne is also preparing for the possibility that his club might just have to go through December’s Alberta Junior Hockey League’s schedule without the services of two of his best offensive weapons.
With the AJHL’s current leading scorer Matt Forchuk (43 points in 28 games) and linemate Logan Fergusuon (35 points) invited to participate at the Team Canada West selection camp in Leduc, AB. immediately following Friday’s first game against the Camrose Kodiaks, Milne realizes that the remaining members of his hockey team will have to step up their play if the team is to continue their winning ways.
“I’d certainly be lying if I said we weren’t going to miss both Forchuk and Ferguson, but I’m very happy for them and I hope they make the final roster,” said Milne, of the Team Canada West Selection camp that will see 60 players in attendance competing for just 22 spots. “They’ve both worked extremely hard this year and are deserving of the opportunity to wear a Team Canada jersey. I see no reason why they both won’t make the final Team Canada West roster.”
The Team Canada West Selection camp will run in Leduc from Dec. 5-8. The final roster will then travel to the Eastern Ontario towns of Trenton, Wellington, Cobourg and Whitby for the six-team World Junior A Challenge tournament featuring all-star teams from Team Canada East, Russia, USA, Czech Republic and Switzerland. The tournament will take place from Dec. 13 – 19.
“I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to play with such good line-mates this season and I’m honoured to get the opportunity to try out for Team Canada West,” said Forchuk., who plays on a line with Ferguson and Lane Olson. “It’s very exciting to go to camp to compete against some of the top players in Western Canada. I just want to go to camp, work hard, play my game, and see what happens.”
For Ferguson, the 2015-16 AJHL season has been a coming out party. During his rookie season with the Eagles last year, Ferguson put up a respectable 28 points in 60 games. This year, Ferguson has truly found his game and has put up 35 points before the half-way mark of the schedule.
“It’s been a great season this year, both from a team perspective and personally,” said the speedy 18-year-old. “I’m really looking forward to the Team Canada West experience. It’s a great opportunity for both Matt and me. It’s going to be a tough try-out camp because there are a lot of elite players coming to Leduc and we’re all trying to earn a spot on the roster. It would be an awesome experience if both Matt and I made the final roster.”