PHOTO: Seventy-six hockey players showed up for the opening of the Canmore Eagles training camp on Thursday afternoon. Veteran defenceman John Stevens shows his endurance during the sit-up portion of the fitness testing.
Hope springs eternal as the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League prepare to open their training camp for the 2013-14 season on Thursday, August 22.
The Eagles were much improved in 2012-13 as they registered a fifth-place finish in the eight-team AJHL Southern Division standings with 54 points and a record of 24-30-6. In 2011-12, the Eagles finished in last-place with 39 points and an overall record of 18-39-3.
“We made some excellent progress in rebuilding our franchise last season and I fully expect that we can keep the positive momentum going forward this season,” said the ever optimistic Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne, who anticipates that 70 players will come to camp with the hopes of making the final roster. “We have about 15 players returning from last year’s team and a slew of excellent prospects coming to camp, so I’m expecting a very competitive camp to say the least. Just because you made the club last year, certainly doesn’t guarantee you a spot this year. We can, and need to be better this year. Training camp always holds a few surprises for the coaching staff and I'm looking forward to see how this year's camp unfolds.”
This year’s training camp will begin with registration and fitness testing on Thursday afternoon ((Aug. 22) and then the players will be split into four distinct teams with inter-squad scrimmages set for Friday afternoon/evening (Aug 23) and all day Saturday (Aug 24). The roster will then be cut down to approximately 40 players for the annual BLUE –WHITE inter-squad game which will be played at the Canmore Recreation Centre at 12 noon on Sunday, August 25. The public is welcome to attend all practice sessions and admission will be free for the Blue-White game. (Please see Training Camp schedule below)
Following Sunday’s inter-squad game, the roster will be cut down to a more manageable number of approximately 26 players in preparation for the club’s first exhibition game on Tuesday, August 27 against the visiting Calgary Canucks. Admission for the Eagle’s lone home exhibition game will be reduced to just $5 for everyone. Game time at the Canmore Recreation Centre is 7 pm.
The Eagles will then head to Calgary for a mini-exhibition tournament at the Max Bell Arena on the following weekend with games scheduled against the Calgary Mustangs (Aug. 30 – 3 pm), Calgary Canucks (Aug 31 at 7 pm) and Olds Grizzlys (Sept. 1 at 1 pm).
Canmore will open their regular season schedule with three straight home games versus the Drumheller Dragons (Friday, Sept. 6), the Calgary Canucks (Sat. Sept. 7) and the Calgary Mustangs (Friday, Sept. 13). All games will start at 7 PM.
NOTEBOOK: The Eagles are still in need of a few good billet homes for their new players. If you have a spare room and can accommodate a young hockey player from Sept – March, please contact Monique at email@example.com. Billet families receive free Eagle season tickets, a $350 monthly stipend, and 10% off groceries at Sobeys. . . .Don’t forget the 17th Annual Canmore Eagles Golf Tournament set for Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course. The entry fee is just $129 and includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart and BBQ dinner. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register . . . .Season ticket holders can pick up their ticket packages in the arena lobby before the Blue-White inter-squad game or the Eagles exhibition game on Tuesday, August 27.
2013-2014 CANMORE EAGLES MAIN CAMP SCHEDULE
THURSDAY AUGUST 22, 2013
REGISTRATION 3:30 PM
(AT THE CANMORE REC CENTER LOBBY)
FITNESS TESTING 4:00-6:00PM
FRIDAY AUGUST 23,2013
TEAM 1 TEAL PRACTICE 9:00-10:00 AM
TEAM 2 ORANGE PRACTICE 10:15-11:15 AM
TEAM 3 BLUE PRACTICE 11:30-12:30 PM
TEAM 4 GREY PRACTICE 12:45-1:45 PM
GAME # 1 TEAM 1 VS TEAM 2 5:00-7:00 PM
GAME # 2 TEAM 3 VS TEAM 4 7:15-9:15 PM
SATURDAY AUGUST 24, 2013
GAME # 3 TEAM 1 VS TEAM 4 9:00-11:00 AM
GAME # 4 TEAM 2 VS TEAM 3 11:15-1:15 AM
GAME # 5 TEAM 1 VS TEAM 3 5:00-7:00 PM
GAME # 6 TEAM 2 VS TEAM 4 7:15-9:15 PM
Camp will be cut down to 2 teams to play in the inter-squad game Sunday
SUNDAY AUGUST 25, 2013
INTER-SQUAD GAME – 12 NOON-2:30