The Canmore Eagles are motivated to have a strong start to the 2018/19 season and the plan is to carry the momentum into a successful year for the hockey club. After finishing 2nd place in the AHJL South Division in 2016/17 the team was forced to reload the roster with a much more youthful group of players for 2017/18 year. The team’s prior success catapulted many players to careers beyond the AJHL and the Eagles began last season with 13 fresh faces to once again build a core to compete against the best the Alberta Junior Hockey League has to offer.
Many of the standout players from last season are returning to the fold including the dynamic Alex Young who produced at nearly a point a game pace at only 16 years old. Tian Rask, who stepped in and set the standard for the team’s compete level, skated away with 38 points and 132 penalty minutes. Fellow Saskatchewan born forward Quinton Ong used his elite speed and shot to score 17 goals and earn a commitment to Yale University. Max Giangualano is back after proving that he can contribute in a big way offensively stepping in as a 17-year-old. On our backend, Carter Coles set the pace logging as many minutes as any rookie 2000 born defenceman in the league. Between the pipes, first-year goaltender Logan Dyck certainly revealed to everyone that his Top Goaltender Award from the AMHL was no accident. And both mid-season acquisitions of Connor Lyons and Taden Rattie added significant elements to their new team with further size, skill, and leadership for the talented recruiting class.
The new core was built around leading scorer and team MVP Colton Young, and rock solid goaltender Thomas Davis who continuously gave his team chances to win games while they gained valuable experience. This group of returning players have certainly elevated their expectations for the upcoming season.
Now add to the fray that General Manager Andrew Milne has been active this offseason by adding big pieces on the defence. The Eagles traded for the swift skating, offensive catalyst Mark Drohan and for Jared Bowman who is known around the league as a consistently dependable two way D-man. Via another trade, Owen Reith joins the forward group and will give the coaches a threat to score off the wing and an additional weapon on special teams.
Training Camp to open the new season is just days away. The coaches are eager to see the new recruiting class that Head Scout, Barry Sawchuk and his staff have identified. The scouts have worked tirelessly to bring in new talent that will compete for spots on the roster this season and that may become prospects for the team in the future. Training Camp promises to be very competitive as the new prospects hit the ice with the veterans for a series of practices, scrimmages, and presentations that will kick off the new hockey season in Canmore. Players will arrive on Tuesday, August 28th for fitness testing and evening practice sessions. The first portion of camp will continue on the 29th with scrimmages throughout the day and will conclude with the annual Blue-White Game on the 30th.
Training Camp will move onto the Exhibition Season with the Eagles playing four exhibition games. Two games will be played at home; Friday, August 31st and Tuesday, September 4th. Game times are 7 pm at the Canmore Rec Centre and admission is only $5.00. Training Camp is open to the public, come out for your first glance at the new Eagles squad for the 2018/19 season as well as see the progress of the new renovations being made at the Rec Centre. This season is shaping up to be an electrifying ride with the Bow Valley’s premier sports team; come ‘Soar With Us!’
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