Tonight, the Surrey Eagles get ready to kick off the home portion of their 2019-20 B.C Hockey League season. The festivities will be grand as fans get their first look at their new team against the cross river rivals, the Coquitlam Express. Both teams come into this game with perfect records, as the Eagles (2-0-0) look to extend their winning streak to 3 against the Express (1-0-0), who opened their season with a 5-2 win against the Langley Rivermen. The Eagles are also looking for a little revenge, after Coquitlam laid a 10-4 beatdown against them in the preseason.
The Eagles depth scoring has been a strength of this team so far, with Cristophe Tellier leading the team with 4 points in 2 games, followed by numerous players who have kept up their point per game pace. Both goaltenders also recorded their first wins on the weekend so every player will be looking to keep the good times rolling at home. For the full Eagles lineup, check our social mediums later today!
Who To Watch Out For
Tonight, the Express are missing one of their top offensive weapons as Massimo Rizzo won’t be in the lineup as he continues to recover from an injury sustained in preseason. This should open up an opportunity for the Eagles if they can keep their composure. This doesn’t mean the Express will be a light task, as they boast a number of excellent offensive contributors up and down their lineup.
For the Eagles, they just got to continue what they’ve been doing to start off the year. They’re going to have the home crowd behind them for the first time tonight, so while that’ll boost their adrenaline, they’ll need to keep their games in check. It’ll be exciting for all the new Eagles players and rookies in the BCHL to see a crowd like this, but if they can’t stick to their games and let their emotions get the best of them, they’ll run into problems.
Here are the players to watch out for as these teams get set to do battle.
Coquitlam Express: Ryan Tattle
The Express feature a number of players capable of lighting the lamp, but none showed better in the preseason game than Ryan Tattle. Tattle was a force to be reckoned with, scoring multiple goals, assisting on a few others, and even getting into a fight with Eagles defenceman Jimmy Darby. The former Vancouver North East Chief didn’t factor into Coquitlam’s win last week, but he’ll be a player the Eagles will need to shut down if they want to win their 3rd in a row.
Surrey Eagles: Brett Bliss
For Eagles fans, defenceman Brett Bliss will look to continue his hot start to the season. The American defenceman from Chelmsford, Massachusetts looks to add to his 3 points in 2 games, including a game tying one timer from the point in the 4-3 OT win against the Prince George Spruce Kings. In addition to his offensive prowess, Bliss has shown he can shut down his opponents top forwards (Albeit, it’s the start of the year). He’ll need to be on his game tonight, and show why he’s already got a commitment to play for Brown University for 2021-2022 to help the Eagles come away with the win.
3 Keys To The Game
There’s no question the Eagles are in tough against a team with as much offensive firepower as Coquitlam. No team is unbeatable though, and the Eagles morale is the highest it’s been in a long, long time. They’ll make their lives a lot easier if they’re able to stick to their game plan, and follow some simple steps.
Stay out of the penalty box
The Eagles won both their games against Prince George, but they needed to kill off more than their fair share of penalties. If the Eagles can’t keep themselves out of the box, they’ll run into problems against a Coquitlam power-play which went 4-8 in their win over the Rivermen.
Keep your emotions in check
There’s a lot of young talent on this Eagles team, no doubt about it. They showcased their skills last weekend in Prince George, but the home opener is a whole different ball game. It’s up to Cam Keith and the coaching staff to keep this young group composed and ready to go, despite the bright lights and adoration they’ll receive. If they can stick to their gameplay, and use the extra adrenaline in a positive manner instead of letting it override their decision making, they’ll have the extra jump they need to really get on top of the Express.
Keep spreading the scoring
The Eagles had 8 different players record points in both their wins against Prince George, which is an excellent formula against any team. Going to be a simple point, if all 4 lines can continue to apply pressure on Coquitlam at all times, they’re going to be successful.
This game is going to be exciting for fans for a multitude of reasons. They’re going to get to see their team in action for the first time this year against one of the Eagles most bitter rivals. The excitement level is going to be immense, and this one should be a great game. If the Eagles can keep themselves out of the penalty box, and keep their emotions in check, they’re going to make Coquitlam’s life difficult in spoiling what’ll be a fantastic first evening of hockey from the South Surrey Arena.
Tickets are still available! The doors to the rink will open at 6:00pm and you can buy your tickets right from the box office. All of our ticket prices are on our single game ticket page which you can find here. [https://www.surreyeagles.ca/single-game-tickets] If you need your tickets as soon as possible, well you can start the preorder process right from that page, so go check it out and get set for a great night of hockey!
If you’re unable to make it to the rink today, you can catch the broadcast live on HockeyTV and Mixlr. Cole Marton will have the play by play call and he’ll be joined by his colour commentator who’ll be announced on the broadcast. The broadcast will start at 6:50pm as Cole and the crew will get you set for the festivities from the home opener.