Gritty goaltender performance rewarded

Photo Credit Sei Spo Press

Gritty goaltender performance rewarded

Andreai Proctor-Ramirez has taken some hard knocks recently, so when he was run over for the second time in a Saturday (Feb. 4) game against the Olds Grizzlys that left him writhing in agony, it looked like for the second time in three outings he would be forced to leave an Alberta Junior Hockey League contest.

The only issue in this outing was, despite an obvious injury to his left knee, the 20-year-old goaltender was just five minutes and 43 seconds from recording his second shutout of the season. So, after a lengthy delay, the Paradise Hill, Sask., native hobbled back between the pipes, earning some inspired play from his teammates – including Brody Mortenson batting a puck away from what was a sure goal as the goaltender continued to gather himself when play resumed following the collision – to see out a 35-save, 4-0 victory over the Olds Grizzlys.

It was the second shutout in three starts for Proctor-Ramirez, with the other also coming against the Olds Grizzlys on Jan. 20. Between, the goaltender started and was pulled in a game against the Brooks Bandits on Jan. 21, after being run over while standing his ground in the crease just 16:57 into the game. The results were a sore neck, stiff back and a concussion that forced him to take a seat in the stands and then on the bench for the next three games.

Canmore goals in Saturday’s tilt came from Vincent Scott (23) in the second period, and Kyle Young (12), Owen Jones (16) and Kayden Rawji (7) in the third period. The final two goals coming after Proctor-Ramirez gathered himself from what at first looked like his game-ending scenario. After the game, Proctor-Ramirez was visibly trying to avoid putting any weight on his left leg while high fiving and collecting hugs from his teammates and taking in the loud, standing ovation from the nearly 600 fans that packed the Canmore Recreation Centre. The full extent of the injury to Proctor-Ramirez (10-13-2-0/ 3.54 GAA/ .903 S/Pct.) was not known at the time of writing this article.

Canmore fired 32 shots at Olds goaltender Marcus Cumberworth, while on the power play the Eagles were 2-for-6 and the Grizzlys were 0-for-8.

The Eagles introduced a new player to their home fans on Friday night, the newly signed Logan Ziegler. The 5-foot-11 forward was a free agent after the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League did not card him at the Jan. 10 signing deadline. The 18-year-old had not played for the Bruins since mid-December but in 30 games had six goals and 22 points. Last year, Ziegler led the Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAA team with 15 goals and 38 points in 38 games. This season, the Calgary native originally signed with the Brooks Bandits but did not play a regular-season game and was dealt to Estevan in early September.

Canmore (20-25-2-2) remains in sixth place in the South Division with 44 points, two points back of the fifth-place Camrose Kodiaks (22-25-2-0) and four points up on the Calgary Canucks (16-25-6-2) in the battle for playoff positioning. The loss for the Olds Grizzlys (14-33-3-0) leaves the team mired in eighth place with 31 points.

The Eagles head out for a difficult weekend road trip with stops in Blackfalds on Friday, Spruce Grove on Saturday and Sherwood Park on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles return to the Bow Valley on Wednesday (Feb. 15), hosting the Whitecourt Wolverines at the Banff Fenlands Recreation Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.