PHOTO: Conner Wilson had a four-goal night to lead the Eagles to a 7-4 victory over the Grande Prairie Storm on Friday night.
Led by a four goal performance from second-year forward Connor Wilson, the Canmore Eagles defeated the visiting Grande Prairie Storm 7-4 in an Alberta Junior Hockey League game played Friday night before 461 fans at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
The victory was the Eagles eighth win in their past nine games, and improves their overall record to 14-11-1. Canmore now sits alone in third-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings with 29 points, just four points behind the first-place Brooks Bandits and two behind the second-place Okotoks Oilers.
For Wilson, who had a natural hat trick in the first period and tallied again in the third period, the four goal outburst moved him into top spot on the Eagles scoring parade with 26 points, and into 10th spot on the AJHL overall scoring list.
“Willy has played some exceptional hockey for us this year and it was great to see him get rewarded for all his hard work last night,” said a smiling Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “He came to training camp in excellent shape this fall and he just seemed determined to make an impact this year. He has been one of our most consistent and hard working players all season long and now that he has some confidence, he is starting to take control while he’s on the ice.”
Recently acquired forward Joe Serpico also had a four point night for Canmore, assisting on every one of Wilson’s four goals. Serpico now has eight points in his first six games since coming to Canmore from the Calgary Mustangs on November 1.
“That line of Wilson, Serpico and Simon Philp was outstanding last night,” said Milne of the line that accumulated 10 points. “They have some good speed, can create turnovers, handle the puck effectively and were dangerous offensively on every shift.”
Nikolas Kosman (4th), Jordan Revie (7th) and Philp (10th) had the other Eagle goals, while rookie netminder Ryan Ferguson stopped 26 of the 30 Grand Prairie shots to improve his record to 9-5 on the season.
With the victory, Canmore concluded their recent four-game home-stand with a 3-1 record and will now get a week off before venturing up to Camrose next weekend for a pair of big games against the Kodiaks. The players have been given a three-day break and will not report back for practice until Tuesday, November 19.
“We have a few injuries to take care of, so everyone can certainly use this break in the schedule to get healthy,” said Milne, who has been without the services of two of his key defenceman John Stevens and Jakob Lavoie for the past two games and top-line forward Luke Simpson since October 12. “We play 14 games in 29 days from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21, so we know we have a very busy schedule coming up. This week’s rest will be a good opportunity for everyone to heal up and get ready for a busy part of our schedule.”
The Eagles next home game is set for Tuesday, November 26 when the Olds Grizzlys pay a visit.
NOTEBOOK: The last time a Canmore Eagle scored four goals in a game was back on December 2008 when Scott Hudson accomplished the feat . . .Canmore is now 10-4 on home ice.. . With two assists last night, Eagle defenceman Trey Phillips now has 24 points (11 goals and 13 assists) and leads the AJHL scoring parade for defenceman . . .Congratulations to Canmore Eagle “Twitter” administrator Luc Turcotte as the team’s Twitter account now has 718 followers.