PHOTO: Adam Tisdale (above) and team-mate Coy Prevost are the only two Eagle players to play in all 53 regular season games this year. The Eagles have two home games this weekend. (Pam Doyle Photo)
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
Friday. Feb. 19 – Grande Prairie Storm at Canmore – 7 PM
Saturday, Feb. 20 – Whitecourt Wolverines at Canmore – 7 PM
When the Canmore Eagles take to the ice for a pair of home games this weekend, they will face two Northern Division teams that are heading in polar opposite directions.
On Friday evening, the Eagles will entertain the last-place Grande Prairie Storm who currently occupy eight-place in the Northern Division standings with a regular season record of 9-40-3 and 21 points. The Storm still have a mathematical chance of catching the seventh-place Fort McMurray Oil Barons for the last playoff spot, but come to Canmore riding a 12 game losing streak. While the Storm currently own the worst record in the AJHL, they did defeat the Eagles 3-2 at the AJHL Showcase Weekend back on October 2. Canmore evened their series with a 5-1 victory in Grande Prairie on Jan. 22.
On Saturday night, the visiting team will be the Whitecourt Wolverines who have compiled an impressive record of 38-10-5 (81 pts) and are currently just one point behind the second-place Lloydminster Bobcats in the Northern Division standings. The Wolverines are currently ranked as the nation’s #9 Junior A hockey club and defeated the Eagles 8-3 in Whitecourt on Jan. 23 in their only game played this season.
“We don’t want to concentrate on their records, we just have to focus on what we need to do as a team to be successful going down the stretch,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, whose club currently sits in fourth-place in the AJHL’s Southern Division standings with 52 pts and a record of 23-24-6, seven points up on the fifth-place Drumheller Dragons. “Our immediate goal is to finish strong and secure home-ice advantage for the first-round of the playoffs.
“We just can’t afford to take anyone for granted. All the Northern Division teams battle hard and play a very physical style of game, so we better be prepared for two tough games. Both of these teams have already beaten us once this year, so that should be a good reminder for our hockey club that we need to come out and work our tails off.”
Game time at the Canmore Recreation Centre is 7 PM for both games.
NOTEBOOK: Calgary Flame announcer Beesley will perform the PA duties for the Eagles during Saturday’s home game. . . . Saturday’s game will also see the draw for the Calgary Flames Road trip raffle, so make sure you buy your tickets during Friday’s home game . . .Eagle rookies Coy Prevost and Adam Tisdale are the only two Eagles to play in all 53 Eagle games this season . . . Canmore continues to own the AJHL’s top powerplay unit scoring 73 goals on 288 powerplay opportunities for a 25% conversion rate. . . .Canmore’s Matt Forchuk currently sits in 4th-place in the AJHL scoring parade with 66 points, just 6 points back of leader Ryan Kruper of Sherwood Park. Team-mate Logan Ferguson is in fifth-place with 65 points.