EAGLE’S NEXT GAME: Friday Feb. 15 in Drumheller
EAGLE’S NEXT HOME GAME: Sat. Feb. 16 versus Okotoks Oilers
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2012 – With six veteran players sitting in the stands nursing various injuries, the short-handed Canmore Eagles hockey club came up with a gritty road performance last night securing a valuable point in the Southern Division standings despite losing 4-3 in a shoot-out to the Calgary Mustangs in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played before a sparse crowd of 281.
The single point earned could prove extremely valuable as the Eagles wind down their regular season and prepare for the upcoming AJHL playoffs.
The Eagles, who have seven regular season games remaining, currently hold down fifth-spot in the Southern Division, just two points ahead of the sixth-place Mustangs and three points up on the seventh-place Olds Grizzlys.
Canmore has been hit by a rash of late-season injuries with three veteran defencemen (Alex Barnes, Johnny Stevens & Trey Phillips) and three veteran forwards (Nils Moser, Steven Phee & Simon Philp) all missing last night’s game with various injuries. With luck, most players could be back in the lineup when the playoffs begin in early March.
“Last night’s game was just like last Saturday’s game against Okotoks,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose team enjoyed a 3-1 lead early in the third period. “We had lots of chances but we just didn’t have the horses to finish it off. We made a few mental mistakes in the third period, probably due to fatigue, and that cost us the extra point. But with a depleted lineup, getting a point on the road is still a good thing. We sacrificed lots, played a relatively smart game, and gave ourselves a chance to win. It’s pretty positive to see the effort we received, considering the majority of our veteran leadership group was sitting in the stands.”
Luke Simpson, with his 21st, Austen Hebert (3rd) and Zack Rassell (23) had the Eagle goals. Simpson was also named the Eagle’s “Star of Game”. Canmore was outshot 34-18.
The remaining regular season schedule for the Eagles will not be easy, despite the fact that they play five of their remaining seven games at home.
Canmore has a very busy weekend coming up playing in Drumheller on Friday (Feb. 15), before returning to the Canmore Recreation Centre for a pair of games. The hard-charging Okotoks Oilers pay a visit on Saturday night (Feb. 16) and then the always physical Olds Grizzlys come to Canmore for a Holiday Monday (Feb. 18) afternoon tilt.
NOTEBOOK: The Canmore Eagles are pleased to announce that there will be an opportunity to “Skate With the Eagles” following Monday afternoon’s game with Olds. Bring your skates to the game and join the Eagle players on the ice following the game. . . With last night’s loss to the Okotoks Oilers, the Calgary Canucks have been officially eliminated from the post-season play.
PHOTO: Canmore's Luke Simpson had a goal and an assist last night against Calgary Mustangs.
Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson