Surrey, BC – After a rough outing on Friday night, the Surrey Eagles (22-23-7) are looking to bounce back at home against the visiting Nanaimo Clippers (32-16-4). It’ll be another tough task for Surrey this afternoon, as Nanaimo comes into tonight’s game battling for 1st place in the B.C Hockey League’s Island Division. The Eagles on the other hand, are just 5 points up on the Langley Rivermen for 3rd place in the Mainland Division, and are looking to hold on to their playoff positioning. Tonight is also the Eagles’ Bingo Night, with lots of prizes up for grabs for the first 500 fans who come through the doors.
Both goaltenders had their first ‘off’ nights in the past few games, so look for whoever starts tonight to be sensational. Any lineup changes will be posted in our roster update on our social media channels later today.
Who To Watch Out For
The Eagles need to figure out how to play at home quickly, with the playoffs around the corner. This game is the 2nd of 6 inside ‘The Nest’ to end the year, so fortunately they’ll have lots of time. With a road record which sits in the top half of the league, the Eagles are looking to become a dominant force at home to coincide with what could be a deep playoff run. However, they’ll need to figure out a Clippers team with loads of weapons up front, and without further adeu here are the key players to watch out for this afternoon.
Surrey Eagles: Gabe Schovanek
The Comox, BC native has been a force on the top line with Hudson Schandor and Cristophe Tellier, and has continue to develop his game up to their level since being inserted onto their line. Schovanek has seen his point totals rise to a gaudy 34 in 43 games, while currently riding a 7 game point streak, and points in 12 of his last 13 games. (5G, 12A in last 13 games). The last time these 2 teams played, it was Gabe who ended the game with the teams first shootout goal of the season.
Nanaimo Clippers: Josh Kagan
Kagan has been an absolute nightmare against the Eagles all season, no matter which team he’s been on. Kagan has 5 goals and 1 assist in 3 games spread between the Cowichan Valley Capitals, the Merritt Centennials, and the Nanaimo Clippers. Kagan is a slippery threat with a goalscorer’s touch, which has helped him rack up 24 goals and 40 points in 46 games in the BCHL this season. Look for more of the same again today as Kagan looks to keep the Eagles in their slump.
3 Keys To The Game
The Eagles are looking to avoid falling for a 3rd consecutive game, but will need to see some improvements in a couple of key areas if they want to accomplish their goal and earn their 9th win on home ice. The Eagles also want to prove to themselves they’ll be a tough out at home during the playoffs. As such, here are the 3 keys to the game.
- Discipline: The Eagles penalty kill is in the midst of a little slump right now, and to avoid relying on it expect the Eagles to be much more disciplined. They took another 4 minor penalties against the Wenatchee Wild on Friday night, and gave up another powerplay goal. Look for the Eagles to play more controlled tonight to avoid heading to the box.
- Goaltending: As stated above, look for whoever starts tonight to be fantastic in the crease. With both goaltenders having sub-par efforts compared to what their standard has become, they’ll both be looking to steal a game for the boys this evening.
- Keeping Things Simple: The boys have been great on the road by keeping their game simple and doing the little things right. At home, it’s been a bit of a different story as they’ve tried to be too cute on the bigger ice sheet, and it’s come back to bite them multiple times this year. If the boys finally want to figure out the bigger ice surface, they’ll need to slow things down and keep their game simple inside ‘The Nest’ to give the crowd a reason to cheer.
It’ll be another good game this afternoon as the Eagles try to get back on track against a tough Nanaimo team. Look for the Eagles to play a simpler game, with more discipline, while receiving quality goaltending, and maybe a little bit of luck, to get themselves back in the win column. It’ll be a quality Sunday afternoon matinee inside ‘The Nest’.
Tickets are still available for tonight’s game! You can walk up to the box office starting at 3:00pm to buy your tickets, or visit our single game tickets page and start the preorder process. Can’t make the game tonight? No worries. You can catch the broadcast on HockeyTV and Mixlr tonight, starting at 3:50pm. Puck drop for tonight’s game will be 4:00pm.