NEXT GAME – OLDS GRIZZLYS AT CANMORE EAGLES (Friday, Oct. 30 – 7 PM)
PHOTO – Ex-Kimberley Dynamiters (left to right) Jonas Gordon, Coy Prevost and Braden Saretsky have all found a home on the Canmore Eagles this season.
With their top five point getters from their 2014-15 Alberta Junior Hockey League roster all absent from this year’s lineup, it was generally assumed that the Canmore Eagles might get off to a sluggish start to begin the 2015-16 season.
But despite the loss of last year’s leading scorers Connor Wilson, Joe Serpico, Ryley Risling, Jordan Revie and Simon Philp, this year’s Eagle team has defied the odds and is off to a solid start currently sitting in fourth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with 19 points and a record of 9-7-1.
While the solid goaltending of rookies Ryan Bontorin and Ryan Gilchrist and the impressive play of forwards Matt Forchuk (25 pts), Lane Olson (24 pts) and Logan Ferguson (17 pts) have certainly contributed to the club’s success, the overall depth of the team has been significantly strengthened due in part to three new recruits from the Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
Forwards Coy Prevost (6 goals and 7 assists) and Braden Saretsky (2 goals and 5 assists) have played in all 17 Eagle games to date, while Canmore born defenceman Jonas Gordan (3 assists) has suited up for 16 games.
“No doubt about it, all three players from the Kimberley team have certainly contributed to our success this season,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “The Dynamiters are coached by Jerry Bancks and I have the utmost respect for him and his hockey program. Jerry has a winning program in Kimberley and these players know what it takes to win. All three players came to Canmore very prepared with some solid knowledge on how to play the game. The AJHL is still a big step up for all of them, but they have adjusted well and are certainly contributing to the team’s success.”
“I’m really enjoying the season so far,” said the 18-year-old Prevost, who has two game-winning goals to his credit. “I’m playing on a pretty good line with Brett Radford and Daylan Marchi, so I’m getting plenty of opportunities to score and help the club.”
“The AJHL is definitely played at a faster pace than the KIJHL so you have to move the puck a lot faster here,” said the 19-year-old Saretsky, who calls Kelowna, BC home. “We’ve already beaten Camrose, Brooks and Okotoks this year, so we think we are capable of beating anybody. It’s been fun so far and I think we are only going to get better as the season moves along.”
For Jonas Gordon, a Canmore native and brother of long time Eagle Jeremy Gordon, his first 16 games in the AJHL have been a quick learning experience.
“I came to camp very prepared both mentally and physically for the speed and skill of the AJHL,” said Gordon, who witnessed a lot of AJHL action while older brother Jeremy played four seasons in an Eagle uniform. “I’m gaining confidence every game and it has been a lot of fun to come back to my hometown and play for the Eagles. There’s a good attitude and atmosphere in our dressing room.”