By Steve Erickson
The Eagles travel cross town to take on the Coquitlam Express in a rematch from the game played seven short days prior in hopes of stealing points moving up in the standings.
Tonight’s match-up see’s the Eagles without the services of Jake Toor, Eric Linell, Aaron White and Brandon Santa Juana, but have added A/P Logan Webber to the roster in hopes of bolstering added offense.
Tonight’s game sees Clayden Bailey get the “nod” in net having played 5 games for a total of 284 minutes with a GAA of 3.83 in the books.
The Express will go with Kolby Matthews who has played 360 minutes having a GAA of 1.67 through 8 games.
Off late the Eagles have been struggling in the attacking zone and it’s quite possible that with the lack of productivity changes might turn things around for the guys.
It’s a fair assessment that the game ceremony for Jaxon Joseph is close to being fresh in the minds of the players, staff and ownership, but that being said, it’s game on for the Eagles.
Surrey starts the line of Stevenson, Westgard and Ryan up front and in pre-game conversation with Captain Westgard, he mentioned “from this point on there is no looking back.”
Tonight sees the Eagles dress seven “D” using the rotation cycling.
For those tuning in our thanks for being patient with the stream due to technical issues and it wasn’t without everyone trying to get the issue solved, so the late delay was out of our control. Once the game started, I noticed an extra player eventually finding out from Greg that the new player is Delta player Justyn Gurney who was just released by the Regina Pats and obviously made exceptional time getting back for the game.
The first period was owned by the Eagles managed to send in McKim in on the PP at 1:54 sliding one under Matthews giving the Eagles the early lead.
They continued to press forcing turnover after turnover in the neutral zone jumping on all cross ice passes having the Express what team they were playing, given the game last week.
Newest Eagle Justyn Gurney grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone breaking in one on one initially moving left, then moving to his back-hand collecting his first as an Eagle giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead after one.
Both teams had several chances, but the better ones went to the Eagles who started quick and never looked back outshooting Coquitlam by a narrow 10-9 margin.
The second started with more jump from the Express who forced Bailey to make some impressive stops close in while keeping the rebounds to a minimum.
Stevenson notched his 5th of the season out of the air which the Express questioned but to no success as the puck was sent one over Matthews at 5:07 afterning being set up by Captain Westgard and Hayles.
The score indicated the frustration level by the Express who at times took the odd liberty in both ends of the ice, with the frustration building as the period wrapped up.
The last minute saw Express Robillard and Eagles Gurney chat outside the circle and once the puck was dropped Robillard threw his gloves off and threw a punch at Gurney, who fell to the ice attempting to draw an Eagle PP, but to everyone’s surprise they both got Misconduct penalties.
The third started with a fast tempo by the Express and you could sense that given their jump it was no surprise that they managed to grab the first goal of the game at 1:58 as Kimens pulled them within one.
Try as they might the Eagles out played the Express keeping them off the scoreboard despite being outshot, but this game belonged to the Eagles.
The Express pulled Matthews with just over two minutes remaining and had several chances only to be turned aside by the solid play of Bailey.
With the net empty, Gurney who collected his second of the game in the empty net with 12 seconds remaining in the third giving the Eagles the win.
The Eagles were full value for the win and if this say’s anything, it tells me the Eagles are ready to “SOAR” moving forward.
FortisBC Energy Player of the Game
1st) Cayden Bailey – 40SA/39SV
2nd) Chase Stevenson – 1G/1A
3rd) Regan Kimens – 1G