Saturday, September 22, 2012 – If Canmore Eagle Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne was  to write a script for his hockey club to follow, he couldn’t have asked for a better performance from his troops last night as the Eagles defeated the visiting Drumheller Dragons 3-1 before 450 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
It was the Eagles third straight win at home this season and leaves the team with an impressive 3-1 record as they prepare to head out on the road for five straight games. It is the Eagle's best start since the 2004-05 season.
A three-point night from captain Riley Point, a two goal performance from Steven Phee, outstanding goaltending from Ty Swabb, another Eagle powerplay goal, and a perfect penalty killing effort on six Drumheller attempts all contributed to the Eagle’s win.
“I’m very happy for the boys that all their hard work is finally paying off for them with some wins,” said Milne “They have all worked so hard in practice to get to this point and they are just starting to see the rewards for their effort.”
The Eagles came out of the gates flying as they took an early 2-0 lead by the four minute mark of the first period and outshot the Dragons by a 14-4 margin in the first period. The Dragons did their best to mount a comeback outshooting Canmore 27-17 during the last two periods, but Eagle netminder Swabb stood tall and made several outstanding saves to preserve the win. Point scored into an empty net with 16 seconds left to ice the game.
“We didn’t give them many opportunities to score, but when we did make a mistake, Swabb was there for us,” said Milne of his goaltender who was named the Eagle’s “Star of the Game”.  “He (Swabb) is so calm, cool, and collected back there that he gives the whole team a lot of confidence. It’s been a long time since we shut a team down like that, and it’s an encouraging sign that we can play with a one goal lead for almost two periods.”
Unlike last year when their special teams were at the bottom of the AJHL, this year’s Eagle special teams are near the top. The Eagle’s penalty killing team has allowed just one goal in 17 short-handed opportunities, while the Eagle’s powerplay has connected six times on 23 opportunities.
“Sometimes the difference between winning and losing comes down to special teams and we are certainly executing much better this year,” said Milne. “Jeremy Margeson on the penalty killing unit has been outstanding. He is totally committed, disciplined, blocking shots and doing whatever it takes to shut them down.”
The Eagles begin their five-game road trip with a trip to Calgary tonight to face the 2-3-1 Canucks. They will then travel to Okotoks next Tuesday night (Sept. 25) before heading off to Spruce Grove for the AJHL Showcase weekend with games against Grand Prairie (Sept. 28) and Bonnyville (Sept. 29). Canmore will conclude their five-game road trip with a grudge match against the Olds Grizzlys on Friday Oct. 5. The Grizzlys defeated the Eagles 5-2 in the regular season opener back on Sept. 8. The Eagle’s next home game is Saturday, October 6 against the Calgary Canucks.
NOTEBOOK: Eagle forward Paul Lamoureux finally made it back into the lineup last night for Canmore after enduring a lengthy injury rehabilitation following a separated shoulder suffered last Jan. 20th. . . The Bow Valley Derby Girls handled the 50-50 ticket sales last night and helped Rick Anderson claim the $410 payout. Great job girls . . . With Lamoureux drawing into the lineup, Milne elected to go with six defenceman last night forcing rookie defenceman Aston McLeod to be a healthy scratch.