It will be a Happy Thanksgiving for the Canmore Eagles Junior A hockey team!
Thanks in part to another three-point performance by second-year forward Matt Forchuk, the Eagles hung on for a hard-fought 3-2 Alberta Junior Hockey League victory over the Calgary Mustangs in a game played before 447 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
The victory gives the Eagles an early season record of 7-4-1 and moves them into third-place in the Southern Division standings with 15 points, just four points shy of the first-place Okotoks Oilers.
With a goal (8th) and two assists on Saturday night, Forchuk now sits in a first-place tie for the AJHL scoring parade with 20 points in 12 games.
Coy Prevost  (4th) and Logan Ferguson (5th) had the other Eagle goals while goaltender Ryan Bontorin continued his solid play stopping 27 of 29 Mustang shots to improve his record to 3-1-1.
“We’ve played five games over the past nine days and picked up seven out of a possible 10 points, so I’m happy with our progress to date,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club is off to their best start since the 2004-05 season. “We lost a lot of good hockey players from last year’s team, but our returning veterans have certainly taken advantage of their increased ice time and responsibilities and our rookies have really come to play.  We are a fast team offensively and our D-men are doing a good job of shutting down the opposing forwards. The entire team is doing a great job of blocking shots and giving our goaltenders a lot of help in the defensive zone.”
The Eagles will now enter one of their most difficult portions of their 2015-16 regular season schedule with nine of their next 12 games scheduled for opposing rinks. Canmore will begin this stretch with road games against the Calgary Mustangs (Wednesday, Oct. 14), Bonnyville Pontiacs (Friday, October 16) and Lloydminster Bobcats (Saturday, October 17). The next Eagle home game will be Friday, October 23 against the Brooks Bandits.
NOTEBOOK: Congratulations to Canmore’s Collin Pauls who won the “Dallas Sports Weekend” raffle with ticket # 167.  Pauls, a self confessed Cowboy fan, will now be heading to Dallas, Texas at the end of the month to see the Dallas Stars take on the San Jose Sharks in NHL action and the Dallas Cowboys versus the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL match-up of top teams. His trip also includes return airfare from Calgary and three night’s accommodation in downtown Dallas. . . Forchuk , who has been named the Eagle’s “Star of the Game” during four of the last five Eagle games, enjoyed a banner week scoring three goals and adding five assists in three games . . . Line-mate Lane Olson also picked up one goal and four assists during the week and now sits in fifth-place in the AJHL scoring parade.