Friday, September 7, 2012 – As the Canmore Eagles prepare to open their Alberta Junior Hockey League season in Olds on Saturday night, the team received some welcome news today as Cameron Barnes will be returning to the club for the 2012-2013 season after being re-assigned by the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.
Barnes had been battling for the back-up position with the Rockets, but Kelowna acquired Jackson Whistle from the Vancouver Giants on Friday morning and Barnes was sent back to Canmore. Barnes did not play in any exhibition games for the Rockets, so he fortunately retains the possibility of obtaining a US college scholarship through the AJHL.
Barnes, the younger brother of Eagle defenceman Alex Barnes, posted a respectable 11-14-2 record and a 3.69 goals against average for the Eagles last season in his rookie year. As the 2011-2012 season progressed, Barnes eventually took over the starter’s role and almost back-stopped the Eagles to a playoff berth with his stellar play.
With the recent acquisition of 20-year-old netminder Ty Swabb from the Prince George Spruce Kings over the summer, the Eagles would appear to be rock solid in the net as they prepare for the 2012-2013 season.
“We are very happy to have Cameron return to the Eagles,” said head coach and general manager Andrew Milne. “We play a lot of back-to-back games in the AJHL and this will allow us the luxury of always having the ability to start a rested netminder. His return gives us a great one-two punch. Cam is just 18 years old, so he still has a lot of junior eligibility ahead of him.”
With the re-acquisition of Barnes, the Eagles have sent 17-year-old goaltender James Fisk back to the Strathmore UFA Bisons.
“Fisk played very well for us during the exhibition season,” said Milne. “He will get a lot more ice time by going down to Triple AAA Midget and he did prove that he can play in this league”.
Barnes is expected to be back in Canmore tonight and in the lineup for tomorrow's season opener in Olds.