PHOTO: The Canmore Eagles stopped in on the Lafarge Cement plant in Exshaw on Thursday as the team headed out on a three-game northern Alberta road trip. Lafarge is back as a significant Eagle sponsor this season and the hockey club is thrilled to have them back on board. (photo courtesy of Pam Doyle)
The Canmore Eagles (19-20-4) are off to northern Alberta this weekend for an important three game road trip.
The trip includes stops in Grande Prairie, Whitecourt and Sherwood Park.
GAME ONE RE-CAP – CANMORE 5, GRANDE PRAIRIE 1
Matt Forchuk had a pair of goals (21 & 22nd) and added an assist as the Canmore Eagles defeated the Grande Prairie Storm 5-1 in Alberta Junior Hockey League action on Friday night.
The victory, before 1,133 fans in Grande Prairie, was the first Eagle victory in Grande Prairie since September 2008 and improved the Eagle's record back to the .500 level at 20-20-4.
Logan Ferguson (14th), Coy Prevost (15th) and Kyle Pauls (11th) also scored for Canmore, while goaltender Ryan Bontorin picked up the win to improve his record to 11-13-2. Shots on goal favoured the Eagles 28-26 on the night.
“Tonight was a pretty complete game,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne afterwards. “We played well in a lot of areas. We needed to have a team effort tonight and were able to manage the game within the game tonight which should help us as we play out this 3 games in 2 and half days road trip.”
The Eagles will play Game Two of the road trip in Whitecourt on Saturday night before wrapping it up with Game Three in Sherwood Park on Sunday afternoon.
GAME TWO RE-CAP – CANMORE 3, WHITECOURT 8
The Whitecourt Wolverines struck for four unanswered first-period goals and went on to defeat the Canmore Eagles 8-3 in Alberta Junior Hockey League action on Saturday night.
The game was played before 917 fans at the Scott Safety Centre in Whitecourt.
The loss drops the Eagles overall record to 20-21-4, while the nation’s 8th-ranked Wolverines improved to 33-8-5.
Kurt Hildebrand (1st), Braden Saretsky (13th) and Logan Ferguson (15th) had the Eagle goals. Canmore goaltender Ryan Gilchrist started the game, but was replaced by Ryan Bontorin half-way through the game. The Eagles were outshot 36-25 on the night.
“We got out worked by a good hockey team to start the game and our goalies have to do a better job of giving our guys some confidence,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “We aren't exactly scoring goals in bunches lately, so we need to feel confident that we won't have to in order to win. We knew this weekend wasn't going to be easy and we definitely have our work cut out for us now as it won't get easier tomorrow (Sunday).“
The Eagles will wrap up their current three-game northern road trip in Sherwood Park on Sunday afternoon against the well-rested Crusaders (28-15-2).
The Crusaders and Eagles have met twice already this season with the Eagles winning 5-3 at the AJHL Showcase event back on Oct. 3, but dropping a 3-2 decision to the Crusaders in a game played in Canmore back on Nov. 21.
The Eagles next home game will be on Saturday, Jan. 30 when the Brooks Bandits pay a visit to the Canmore Recreation Centre.