PHOTO: Goaltender Ryan Ferguson (right) was outstanding for the Eagles last night as they defeated the Olds Grizzlys 2-1. (Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson)
One of the best features of being a goaltender in the sport of hockey is the fact that if you play well, you’ll probably find yourself back between the pipes for your team’s next game.
Such was the case last night for Canmore Eagle rookie goaltender Ryan Ferguson.
Despite being the goalie of record in a 5-1 road loss to the mighty Brooks Bandits on Friday night, Ferguson did put forth an amazing effort stopping 48 of the 53 Bandit shots he faced and was rewarded with the start last night against the visiting Olds Grizzlys.
The 18-year-old Calgary Royals graduate didn’t disappoint as he was once again spectacular in the Canmore net leading the Eagles to a thrilling 2-1 Alberta Junior Hockey League victory over the Grizzlys before a season-high crowd of 489 spectators at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
The win improved the Eagles early season record to 5-6 and provided Ferguson with his third victory in five starts this season. Ferguson, who was named the Eagles “Star of the Game” for the second time this season, now sports a respectable 2.63 Goals Against Average and a solid .926 Save Percentage.
“A 2-1 game certainly wasn’t what I was expecting from these two clubs, but you have to give a lot of credit to the two goaltenders tonight,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne in reference to the 8-5 score that was posted by these two clubs less than two weeks ago. “But Ferguson – WOW, what can you say. He kept us in the game in the first period and he never looked back. He made some huge and very timely saves for us. Our guys played well as a group, but Ferguson was the difference for us tonight.”
With the game tied at 0-0 with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, the Eagles received a powerplay goal from rookie Kurt Hildebrand (2nd) at the 15.39 mark and appeared to take a commanding lead when Jordon Revie (2nd) made it 2-0 at 15.58. The Grizzlys fought back with a powerplay goal of their own at the 17:05 mark to make things interesting, but Ferguson held the fort to give the Eagles the win.
“After a disappointing Showcase Event in Edmonton last weekend, we came back to win two out of three games this week, so that should be good for our confidence as we move forward,” said Milne.
The Eagles will play their next two games at home with games against the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Thursday, Oct. 10 and the Calgary Mustangs on Saturday, Oct. 12. Canmore will then hit the road for five consecutive games with tilts in Drumheller, Drayton Valley, Grande Prairie, Whitecourt and Okotoks.
NOTEBOOK: Canmore dressed six rookies last night with Ferguson, Brett Radford, Ryley Risling, Brett Schimmel, Roman Melzer and Kurt Hildebrand all in the lineup. . .With an assist last night, Eagles second-year forward Connor Wilson now has 10 points in his past six games.