Photo – Trey Phillips had his second hat trick of the month to lead the Eagles to a 4-2 victory over the Olds Grizzlys on Tuesday night. (photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
NEXT HOME GAME – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – BROOKS BANDITS
With two other Eagle team-mates already claiming “Player of the Week” honours during this year's Alberta Junior Hockey League season, veteran defenceman Trey Phillips served early notice that he would like to be in contention for this week’s award as the smooth skating 20-year-old Okotok’s native started the new week off in sizzling fashion scoring three goals on Tuesday night to propel the Canmore Eagles to a 4-2 victory over the Olds Grizzlys.
The win, before 349 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre, improved the Eagles overall record to 15-12-2 and moved them into a tie for third-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with the Drumheller Dragons, just one point back of the second-place Okotoks Oilers.
Phillips, who recently accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Vermont, now leads the AJHL scoring by a defenceman with 28, and leads the Eagles in scoring with 14 goals. It was also Phillip’s second hat trick of the month as he also scored three goals versus the Calgary Mustangs on November 9.
“I’m extremely happy for Trey, he is playing some exceptional hockey for us right now,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, who has also seen goaltender Ryan Ferguson and forward Connor Wilson win the AJHL Player of the Week awards. “Trey was a little upset with himself because he had a lot of great opportunities to score that he didn’t cash in on during our two losses in Camrose last weekend, and he came out tonight wanting to make a point. Well, he sure did that tonight!”
The Eagles, who led 2-0 after one period and 3-2 after two periods, also received a short-handed goal from Jeremy Margeson (4th), while rookie goaltender Ryan Ferguson picked up the win to improve his record to 10-5-1. Canmore outshot the Grizzlys by a 35-32 margin.
“Overall, we played a solid game tonight,” said Milne. “We had more point-blank chances to score than I have seen in a long time and realistically, we should have scored a few more goals. I also liked the way our team played with confidence and composure. “
The Eagles will now prepare for a very tough weekend ahead as they will head to Okotoks on Friday night (Nov. 29) for a key match-up against the second-place Oilers (14-9-5), before returning home to Canmore for a Saturday night tilt against the first-place Brooks Bandits (19-8-3).
The Eagles have faced the Oilers three times this season and have come away with one goal victories in all three games. Canmore has also beaten the Bandits twice in three meetings this year.
“We’ve had some success against these elite teams this year, so I’m sure they will both be looking to extract a little revenge against us,” said Milne. “These two games will be a very good test for our hockey club. We better be prepared to handle everything they throw at us.”
NOTEBOOK: Canmore is now 11-4 on home ice . . . Phillips now has 12 points in his last 8 games – 6 goals and 6 assists. . . Eagle sniper Luke Simpson, who has been out of the lineup since suffering a dislocated elbow back on Oct. 12, is skating with the club again is hoping to get back into the lineup for the Dec. 6-7 weekend. Injured defenceman Jakob Lavoie is also close to returning. . .The Eagles Christmas Tree lot, located at the MJ Landscaping lot on Bow Valley Trail, will open for the season on Saturday, November 30. Hours are 11-6 on Saturday and Sunday, and 4-7 from Tuesday-Friday.