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Surrey Eagles vs Chilliwack Chiefs Pre-Game Report: Mainland Division Showdown

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Tonight, the Surrey Eagles (4-7-0) continue their B.C Hockey League season on the road with another game in Chilliwack, BC, to take on the Chilliwack Chiefs (6-4-0) in a Mainland Division showdown. After 2 losses at the BCHL Showcase, the Eagles are looking to snap out of their 3 game losing streak while continuing their early dominance over the mainland division, as Surrey comes into the game sporting a 4-2-0 against their division so far this year.

The Eagles reinforcements continue to arrive tonight, as Kenny Riddett will make his BCHL debut, and Owen Nolan will return to the lineup after missing the last 4 games. In addition to Kenny and Owen making their way into the lineup, Thomas Scarfone will get the start tonight in search of his 3rd win of the year. Check our social mediums for our full lineup for tonight’s game, later today.

Who To Watch Out For

The Eagles play has been inconsistent to start the year, and after starting the year in 2nd place in the division for most of the season, they’ve dropped to last after their 2 losses during the BCHL Showcase. They’ll look to bounce back tonight against a Chilliwack team which has roared out to a 6-4 record, and is in the midst of a 4 game winning streak. Both teams feature impact players who can make a difference every shift, and here are tonight’s players to watch for.

Surrey Eagles: Kenny Riddett

Cam Keith hasn’t had the pleasure of deploying his ‘spark-plug’ until tonight, but Kenny Riddett will be a player to watch for in his first BCHL game. The diminutive forward from Fishkill, New York plays with an edge every shift, and looks to be one of the players that stirs the drink for this Eagles team moving forward. Don’t mistake his energetic play for a lack of offensive output however, as Kenny sported a stat line of 18-24-42 in 47 games played with the North Jersey Avalanche U18 team of the U18 Tier 1 Elite Hockey League. Look for Kenny to make his presence felt early and often, all game from the Chilliwack Coliseum.

Chilliwack Chiefs: Nikita Nesterenko

For the Chiefs, they have the pleasure of watching their NHL draft pick play most nights, and he’ll be the player to keep an eye out for tonight. Nikita Nesterenko has only scored 1 goal in 8 games this year, but has added 8 assists to push his total to 9 points. The Minnesota Wild’s 6th round draft pick from last year looks to continue his strong start to the year and add a couple more goals to his goal total. He’s a great player, and tonight, he’ll look to keep the Eagles in the Mainland Division’s basement.

3 Keys To The Game

The Eagles played one of their best games to end the showcase, but still wound up losing a 4-2 decision to the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Thursday. To buck the losing streak tonight, they’ll need to stick to these 3 keys  to the game.

– Stay disciplined: The Eagles have moved into the top 5 in the league for penalty minutes, and will need to buck that trend tonight against the league’s best powerplay. Surrey will need to keep themselves in check if they want to avoid their longest losing streak of the year.

– Play the full 60 (again): The Eagles have all of their horses back in the lineup tonight, and will play with their full lineup for the first time all season. The boys need to feed off each other, and build off the work each line does on every shift. This will help them play a full 60 minutes, and continue their strong effort they displayed last game.

– Don’t play scared: The Eagles have had an unfortunate tendency of playing a little timid against their opponents so far this season, as this young team continues to get comfortable playing in the BCHL. With a full roster tonight, the boys need to believe in themselves, and believe they’re good enough to compete. The truth is this group is 100% capable of getting a win each and every night, but it’s up to them to start believing it, and that mindset needs to take shape tonight against the Chiefs.

Summary

The Eagles will be in tough against a Chilliwack team which has found their stride as October rolls along. With their full roster playing their first game together all season, look for this Eagles team to come out strong and fire on all cylinders in order to accomplish their goal and continue their strong play against division foes. In addition to having a full compliment of players, Surrey will need to stay disciplined, continue their strong play from Thursday, and play with confidence if they want to turn the ship around and get their 5th win of the year. 


Can’t make the drive out to Chilliwack tonight? Don’t worry, you can catch the live broadcast on HockeyTV and Mixlr. The broadcast will start at 6:50pm, with the opening puck drop slated for 7:00pm from the Chilliwack Coliseum.