BANFF – The Canmore Eagles snapped a three-game skid in style with a shut-out in Banff.
Playing in the first of two Banff games this season, the Canmore hockey club earned a much-needed 4-0 victory over the Olds Grizzlys at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre on Tuesday (Oct. 19) evening to start a three-game homestand.
"I thought we kept going throughout the entire game and we were able to close it out," said Eagles centre Max Monette, a Banff native, after making his AJHL debut in his hometown.
Having played for the Banff Hockey Academy and Edge School, the 18-year-old said he dreamed of playing Junior A in Banff one day.
"I had gone to the [Eagles] games as a kid and it's pretty cool just playing for them," Monette said.
Out on the ice, Monette was flying and said the Banff fans were fuelling his energy and Eagles management said he's coming into his own right now.
"[Monette's] a player we've liked for a number of years and any time we can showcase a local player, it's something as a coaching staff we're proud of," said Eagles coach Kyle McLaughlin. "
"He's showing a lot of confidence and just hungry to learn. So we've been working on a couple of things specifically for him skill-set wise, but I can't say enough about Max. It's just such an easy thing to coach when you have players who are hungry to learn."
The rest of the roster was also more energized in Banff and put up a season-high 43 shots, which is 16 shots more than their previous two games combined.
McLaughlin said getting shots on net was the big thing the team narrowed in on.
As the offence clicked on one end, so was goalie Andreai Procotor-Ramirez nearing a shut-out. However, the bold goalie, who isn't afraid to leave the net and challenge players trying to sneak in on a break, suffered a lower body injury. After 21 saves, he was pulled in the third period in favour of Matthew Malin, who made 12 saves to preserve the goose egg.
Goal scorers were Isaac Suppin, Kyle Young, Riley Dekowny and Ethan Schaeffer.
Veteran defenceman Drae Gardiner had two helpers and newcomer 16-year-old affiliate Casey Black also contributed with a pair of assists in his Eagles debut.
"We were very impressed with how [Black] played tonight," said McLaughlin. "Another player I worked with in the spring and he's been on our radar for a number of years here and really liked the way he's progressing under Mike Glawson and the U18 North Flames."
The Eagles went two-for-eight on the power play, one of the team's best numbers in the early season. Credited was a higher number of shots and causing havoc in front of the net.
The big win snapped a three-game skid to the likes of the Brooks Bandits and the Drumheller Dragons, which are currently first and third in the south standings.
Up next, the Eagles are home in Canmore facing the Calgary Canucks Thursday (Oct. 21) at 7 p.m. Then on Sunday (Oct. 24), Canmore faces off with the Whitecourt Wolverines at 2 p.m.