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Surrey Eagles vs Chilliwack Chiefs: Round 1 Playoff Preview

It Begins

The Surrey Eagles and Chilliwack Chiefs are getting set to open their 1st round Fred Page Cup Playoff series against each other this evening. 8 prior contests in the regular season, a number of fights, and tons of close games sets the tone for a series which could very well go the distance, or end in a sweep for either team. Before the action gets underway tonight in Chilliwack, we’re taking a look at the storylines for the series, and previewing what the Eagles have to do to advance to round 2.

Leading Scorers

Surrey Eagles

2019-20 Totals

Chilliwack Chiefs

2019-20 Totals

Cristophe Tellier 58GP – 28 – 43 – 71 Nikita Nesterenko 56GP – 20 – 36 – 56
Hudson Schandor 56GP – 25 – 36 – 61 Peter Reynolds 53GP – 14 – 33 – 47
Brandon Santa Juana 56GP – 14 – 26 – 40 Kyle Penney 58GP – 18 – 17 – 35
Gabe Schovanek 49GP – 13 – 26 – 39 Brett Willits 58GP – 12 – 22 – 34
Carter King 58GP – 18 – 15 – 33 Joey Larson 52GP – 14 – 19 – 33

Head To Head Matchup

The regular season series was surprisingly lopsided, despite how close most of the games were. The Eagles have won 6 straight against the Chiefs, for a 6-2 overall record versus the perennial Mainland Division powerhouse organization who took home ice from them on the final day. The Eagles scored 27 goals to Chilliwack’s 19.

The special teams matchup was lopsided in the Chiefs favour. The Eagles powerplay was dormant   against the Chiefs this season, going a paltry 3 for 28 against Chilliwack. The Chiefs on the other hand, scored 6 of their 19 goals on the powerplay, in 28 chances. The Eagles will HAVE to be better on the powerplay in the playoffs if they want to advance.

3 Keys To The Series

The Eagles are heading into this series with a ton of confidence, as they should after winning the past 6 matchups. However, there can’t be a letdown in effort against a Chiefs team with an offense that can score at any given moment. The Eagles have found a regular season blueprint, now it’s time to see if it’ll transfer over to the playoffs for 4 games. Here are the keys to the series for the Eagles.

  • Goaltending: The biggest advantage the Eagles will have over the Chiefs in this series, is the ability to play either one of their elite goaltenders at any given moment. While Chilliwack will ride a strong goaltender in Mathieu Caron, the Eagles can turn to either Tommy Scarfone or Reece Klassen on any given night. This gives the Eagles the ability to keep both goaltenders fresh, and allow them to be at their best throughout the series. Both goaltenders have proven they can steal any game they play in, and goaltending has been known to not just steal a game in a series, but steal the entire series.
  • Grind Them Down: The Eagles did a phenomenal job of playing the Chiefs hard in all 3 zones, and not allowing Chilliwack to let their offense flow freely. If the Eagles can continue their strong play along the boards and in the dirty areas of the ice, they’ll be successful in the series.
  • Win 2 Games In Chilliwack: The last key, and something the Eagles have done well at this season, is winning on the road. While Chilliwack hasn’t won a game away from Chilliwack in 2020, the boys can’t expect that trend to continue in the playoffs. As such, with the Chiefs having home ice, the Eagles will need 2 wins in Chilliwack to come away victorious. Expect the boys to continue playing a simple road game to continue being successful.

Summary

It’ll be a fantastic opening series in the Mainland Division, with both of these teams coming off solid years with young rosters. However, all that new experience and development has led these teams to this moment, where they’ll begin their journey to the Fred Page Cup.