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C_Dave45
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AJHL: Calgary Canucks. Huge turnaround quote:

http://hockeynow.ca/junior/calgary-...campaign=buffer

For the past few years, Calgary’s two Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) teams have sat near the bottom of the league standings.

However, after nearly one month into the 2016-17 campaign, one team sits at the top, while the other is in a familiar place in the cellar.

On the city’s west side, the Mustangs have just one win and have given up 12 more goals than the next closest team. Meanwhile, the Canucks sit atop the Viterra South Division with a 6-2-1 record.

Under guidance of a new head coach, James Poole, the Canucks have stormed out of the gate in the first month and rank fourth in the league in goals scored.

Poole came over from division rival Okotoks and has infused new energy into the normally struggling franchise.

Led by key 20-year-olds averaging more than a point-per-game so far, the Canucks have hit the back of the net four times or more in six of nine games.

Matthew Painchaud, who last year played for the Saskatchewan Junior League’s (SJHL) La Ronge Ice Wolves, has 12 points, while AJHL journeyman Ben Assad has 10 points and will look to finish his career in Cowtown. From the blueline, defenceman Allan MacPherson has 10 points and is looking poised to surpass last year’s career season where he broke the 30-point plateau.

Many of the Canucks’ games have been close, with six games decided between two goals or less, and they’ve scored six in back-to-back games as well.

Logan Drackett, who was a member of the AJHL All-Rookie Team, First All-Star Team last season and led the league in GAA, has not quite reached last year’s level, but if he does, the Canucks can be true contenders – something that hasn’t been said in a long time.

Across Calgary, the Mustangs have struggled immensely, allowing a league-high 5.5 goals against and ranking just above the Lloydminster Bobcats in offence. Opponents have scored five or more goals in six of eight games.

Their lone win came against the 0-7 Lloydminster Bobcats, but the Bobcats still won the shot battle 38-29.

And the most recent game? An 8-0 loss at the hands of the Canmore Eagles in which they were outshot 57-32, and 29-4 in the first period alone. The boxscore shows only 15 skaters dressed, a far cry from the 18 allowed.

Last year, the Mustangs had Kyle Dumba in net for a portion of the year, but he’s sticking with the Calgary Hitmen for now, leaving two young goalies, 17-year-olds Bailey Brkin and Cole Hayward, to man the crease.

Last year, the Mustangs set an AJHL record with 29 winless games from October to December, so that’s one area they can certainly hope to improve.

There are some promising players, like returnee Jordan Xavier who had 40 points in 44 games last year, along with Matthew Kopperud, a 17-year-old from Denver with four points in five games early on. Cole Chorney, who played a season and a portion of another with the Red Deer Rebels, was acquired on Oct. 3 and should make a big impact in the top six.

The Calgary teams clashed on Sept. 25, and it was a close affair that saw the Canucks squeak out a 6-5 win. The Canucks had a whopping 52 shots and both teams scored three times in the third, but the Mustangs couldn’t keep pace.

Unfortunately winning hasn’t translated into an uptick in attendance for the Canucks, yet. Both Calgary teams are drawing just over 200 fans per night, much lower than the league average.

Last year, there was a lot of talk about the franchises suffering in attendance and the standings, and if that could mean relocation. A down economy won’t help attendance, so a competitive, winning team is the best shot.

For the Canucks, it’s a welcome change to be a contender, but for the Mustangs, this could be another long season of losing if something doesn’t change soon.

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Old Post 10-07-2016 11:51 PM
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ExtraSlow
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quote:

Been meaning to get the fam-damily out to a game, will check out the schedule and pencil one in.

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Old Post 10-08-2016 03:06 AM
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quote:

Originally posted by ExtraSlow
Been meaning to get the fam-damily out to a game, will check out the schedule and pencil one in.



They play tomorrow night at home (Max Bell).
Leading 1-0 tonight so far, in Drumheller.

Schedule You can download it into your calendar.

Only $12 for adults, kids under 12 are free.

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Old Post 10-08-2016 03:25 AM
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It's a crappy weekend. Come on down and enjoy an exciting hockey game!!






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Old Post 10-08-2016 09:14 PM
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ExtraSlow
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Wasn't able to make any of the Canucks game work so far, but did get out with my daughter to the Calgary Mustangs game yesterday. The Whitecourt Wolverines beat them pretty good, but it was still a nice atmosphere and a fun time.

Highly recommend this level of hockey for folks with kids, so much less hassle than going to Hitmen games.

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Old Post 10-17-2016 07:41 PM
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C_Dave45
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quote:

Originally posted by ExtraSlow
Wasn't able to make any of the Canucks game work so far, but did get out with my daughter to the Calgary Mustangs game yesterday. The Whitecourt Wolverines beat them pretty good, but it was still a nice atmosphere and a fun time.

Highly recommend this level of hockey for folks with kids, so much less hassle than going to Hitmen games.


Ah very cool!! That was at the David Bauer arena? (btw...Max Bell is $3 cheaper and way more comfortable seating! )

Yeah, the Mustangs and Canucks have been arch enemies the past few years. Canucks squeeked into the playoffs last year, and the year before that, Mustangs did. It's always a heated battle between these two.

This year however, Mustangs are really struggling, and the Canucks are in 1st place. They got beat yesterday by the Okotoks Oilers who are a very powerful team. Huge players and fast! Which is amazing because the Mustangs 2nd win was against Okotoks. Albeit a SO.

My son is going on his first 3 day road trip with the team this weekend when they travel to Whitecourt and Grande Prairie. He's pretty excited.

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Old Post 10-17-2016 08:13 PM
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ExtraSlow
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quote:

Yeah, the FDB arena was cold as hell. should have brought a parka. Best wishes for your son on his road trip.

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Old Post 10-17-2016 08:57 PM
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C_Dave45
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quote:

Originally posted by ExtraSlow
... Best wishes for your son on his road trip.



Thanks Slow! He had an absolute blast. Road trips are the best for team bonding. Doesn't hurt that they went 2-0, both with come-from-behind overtime winners!! Keeping them in 1st place still.
They play their cross-town rivals, The Mustangs, again on Friday at Max Bell.

Even CTV has taken notice of the Canucks' turnaround:

http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?cli...aylistPageNum=1

Gettin' ready for the road trip:
(best dressed "stick boy" in the league! )

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Old Post 10-25-2016 04:29 PM
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JRSC00LUDE
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quote:

That's great Dave! I used to love watching SJHL when I was young/lived where there was a team. It's fun hockey for sure!

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Old Post 10-25-2016 05:20 PM
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C_Dave45
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quote:

Canucks are still in 1st place with a huge 9-3 win over their cross-town rivals last night.

More pics





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Old Post 10-29-2016 07:38 PM
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quote:

Canucks play Okotoks Oilers tonight at Max Bell 7:00 pm.

Okotoks knocked Canucks out of the 1st round last year, and have since traded coaches. Last year's Oilers' James Poole is now head coach of Canucks and Canucks' former coach Ryan Barret is with Okotoks. Their 1st meeting this year was a 3-0 loss in Okotoks.

Canucks still in 1st place with a current 4 game winning streak. Should be a real good game tonight!

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Old Post 11-01-2016 07:59 PM
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The first round of the AJHL playoffs is underway and Calgary is tied 1-1 in an intense battle with the Drumheller Dragons.
The Canucks finished in a 3-way tie for 2nd place to give them a 3rd place birth, playing 5th place Dragons. The first two games at Max Bell were split, with game #3 Sunday afternoon in Drumheller.

This is the best season in 18 years for the legendary team.

http://globalnews.ca/video/3297631/...son-in-18-years

A few highlights:



https://twitter.com/TileguyDave/sta...443191484547072

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