Photo – Round 1 of the AJHL playoff series between the Canmore Eagles and the Camrose Kodiaks sets up to be a very exciting one.
NEXT EAGLE HOME GAME – PLAYOFFS GAME 3 – Sunday, March 9 – 5 PM
The Kodiaks, who finished the regular season with a record of 29-21-10 (68 points), edged out the Eagles (32-25-3 – 67 points) for fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings by a single point and earned the coveted home ice advantage for the upcoming best-of-five series.â?¨Games 1 & 2 will be played in Camrose on Thursday, March 6 and Friday, March 7, before the series shifts to Canmore for Game Three on Sunday, March 9 at 5 PM. (Game Four, if necessary, would also be played in Canmore on Monday, March 10 at 7 PM).â?¨Although the Eagles came close to winning a pair of games in Camrose this season, losing 2-1 in a 7-round overtime shoot-out on Nov. 24 and enjoyed a 3-2 third-period lead before losing 5-3 on Feb.9, their six game series this season, Camrose won two games in regulation while the Eagles claimed two wins in regulation. The other two games both went to a shoot where the Kodiaks won both. The Kodiaks also outscored the Eagles by a 17-16 margin and outshot Canmore by a margin of 203-194.â?¨Both the Kodiaks and the Eagles stress a “defence first” philosophy as both clubs sit near the bottom of the AJHL in “Total Goals” scored this season. The Kodiaks scored just 169 goals (2.81 average) this season, while the Eagles lit the red light for 175 goals (2.91 average).â?¨Goals will certainly be at a premium in the series as both teams feature quality goaltending. Kodiak netminder Devin McDonald enters the playoffs with a record of 22-11-7, a Goals Against Average of 2.27, and a Save Percentage of .921. The Eagles will counter with rookie netminder Ryan Ferguson who has been equally impressive posting an overall record of 24-14-2 record, a Goals Against Average of 2.58, and a Save Percentage of .922â?¨. The Eagles were one of least penalized clubs in the AJHL this season with just 1,100 penalty minutes, while the Kodiaks prefer to play it physical and accumulated 1,693 penalty minutes NOTEBOOK: The Canmore Eagle’s fan club would like to run a bus to Camrose for Games 1 and 2. Return bus fees would be in the $65 range. Please contact Mrya at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP to reserve your spot. The bus would depart Canmore at 2 PM . Booking deadline is at noon on Wednesday . . . Camrose Head Coach Boris Rybalka hit a milestone last week as he coached his 1300th Junior A hockey game. Rybalka has been behind the Kodiak’s bench since the 2001-2002 season and has guided the team to four AJHL titles and four Doyle Cup wins. . . Eagles Head Coach Andrew Milne, who just finished his most successful regular season in the AJHL, will be looking for his first playoff series win since he guided the Eagles to the Second Round back in 2010. . . Advanced ticket sales for Game 3 in Canmore will be available for purchase at the Canmore Recreation Centre on Sat., March 8 from 1-5 pm and on Sun. March 9 beginning at 12 noon. Eagle playoff ticket prices are $16 for Adults (18-59), $13 for Seniors (60+) and Students (12-17), and $10 for Children (6-11).â?¨