Sunday December 9, 2012 – To say that the Canmore Eagles are struggling at the midway point of the Alberta Junior Hockey League season would not be an understatement.
With eight players out of their starting lineup, the Eagles took it on the chin last night as they were defeated 8-2 by the visiting Calgary Mustangs in an AJHL game played before 382 fans at the Canmore Recreation centre.
It was the Eagle’s ninth straight loss, and their 13th defeat in their past 14 outings.
With 30 out of their 60 regular season games now in the record books, the Eagles currently find themselves in last-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with a record of 10-16-4.
After winning nine of their first 16 games to start their season, the injury bug has hit the Eagles hard.
In last night’s game against the Mustangs, the Eagles iced a starting lineup that was missing seven injured players. Goaltender Ty Swabb, defencemen Ryan Whitell and Nikolas Kosman, and forwards Alex Bechtold, Simon Philp, Jordon Revie, and Braeden Music are all out with various injuries. Leading scorer Zack Rassell didn’t dress for the game and was deemed a “healthy scratch” by Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne.
After battling the Mustangs to a 1-1 draw after twenty minutes of play, the Mustangs scored five unanswered goals in the second period to put the game away. Calgary helped their cause by scoring four powerplay goals in seven opportunities, while the Eagle’s powerplay went zero for two. Calgary outshot the Eagles by a 40-31 margin.
Canmore rookies Kyle Pauls (#2) and Connor Wilson (#3) had the Eagle goals.
The Eagles next game is Tuesday, December 11 when the Okotoks Oilers come to Canmore for a 7 pm start.
The Eagles and Oilers have met each other three times this season with the Oilers coming out on top in all three games. In a scheduling quirk, all three games have been played in Okotoks with the Oilers winning 1-0 in overtime on Sept. 25, 5-2 on Nov. 2, and 2-1 on Nov. 6.