Shutting Down The Chiefs
Chilliwack, B.C. – The Surrey Eagles and Chilliwack Chiefs played their last of 6 straight on Friday night, and it was the Eagles who came away with the last laugh. Surrey played their best game of the pre-season and pulled out a 3-0 win over the Chiefs in a game which saw the return of two key veteran leaders.
Tonight was one of the best games in the eyes of Eagles Head Coach Cam Keith. “I thought it was a complete game. We had 4 lines that all contributed, not just offensively but defensively as well. We had a team commitment to making smart plays, back tracking hard, taking away a lot of [Chilliwack’s] chances off the rush and minimizing their grade A chances. When they did get through, Tommy ‘The Man’ Scarfone was there to bail us out. It was the best game we’ve played so far.”
Scarfone was perfect on the night for his 3rd straight win of the pre-season. He stopped all 27 shots he faced in earning 1st star honours. Tio D’Addario, Holden Cardinal, and Brandon Santa Juana scored for Surrey in the victory which saw them improve to 3-3 in exhibition play.
Cam noticed the improvement the boys showed tonight, and was quick to answer when asked how this team has grown after the win. “We’re getting better. It’s always going to be our goal; it’s a development model. For the first 4 to 5 games, we didn’t really work on our systems. We focused on the team’s skill development early to get our guys ready to play at the Jr. A level. Once we implemented systems, you could see the improvement with our guys and we instantly got better. That’s the focus of this team, improving every week, every month, to continue to trend upwards towards playoffs and beyond.”
While the young players continued to improve, there’s no doubt the team was boosted by the additions of Owen Nolan and Holden Katzalay to the lineup. The two 20 year old veterans didn’t factor onto the scoresheet, but were the team’s “…best 2 players tonight…” in the eyes of the head coach. “Owen was all over the ice, he brought the energy, he defended hard, he was good on the power-play and on the penalty kill. He brings that element of composure back there, and has great leadership energy in the room. Holden Katzalay is arguable the best player in the [BCHL] this year. We’re lucky to have him, and he looks like a pro. He creates scoring chances whenever he’s out there, he’s great on draws, and he’s good defensively. We’re really excited to have him.”
The Eagles will look for their 2nd win in a row tomorrow afternoon against a new opponent for the first time since the beginning of last year’s playoffs! Surrey will travel to Chilliwack on Saturday, but will play the Langley Rivermen for the first time during the pre-season. Puck drop is slated for 3:00pm, and the broadcast will go live on HockeyTV and Mixlr starting at 2:50pm.