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Surrey Eagles vs Prince George Spruce Kings Pre-Game Report

Sprucing Up The Homestand

Surrey, BC – Tonight, the Surrey Eagles (7-13-0-2)  will look to continue their success against their northern Mainland Division foes, the Prince George Spruce Kings (8-9-2-2). The Eagles started off their season with a resounding 2-0 opening B.C Hockey League weekend series sweep up in Prince George on September 6 & 7, but haven’t been able to string another win streak together all season. They’ll look to start one tonight against a road team which lost a close game on Wednesday in Coquitlam, and who’ll look to snap their own doughnut versus their lower mainland opponents.

The Eagles roster and goaltending will be announced on our social media channels closer to the start of the game. Thomas Scarfone gets the start tonight, after recording a win and an overtime loss in his last 2 starts last weekend against the Chilliwack Chiefs and the Vernon Vipers respectively.

Who To Watch Out For

The Eagles are looking to continue their success against the Spruce Kings, but also looking to capitalize on their current 6 game homestead. After an overtime loss against the Vipers last Sunday, the boys need to start winning some games to climb up the Mainland division standings. The Eagles are only 4 points behind the Spruce Kings in the standings, and can finally climb their way out of the basement win tonight and a Langley Rivermen loss. The top players will need to step up in a game like this, and without further adieu, here are tonight’s key players to watch.

Surrey Eagles: Holden Katzalay

Holden Katzalay continues to be a dynamic offensive presence for the Eagles, and is again the key player to watch for a young group which has shown serious strides in being ready to turn the corner. An honourable mention for the BCHL’s Player of the week, Katzalay put up 6 points in 3 games, and his season total stands at 12 goals, and 25 points in 22 games. Katzalay will need to continue to be a star player for the Eagles to turn the corner, and he’ll look to continue his success tonight.

Prince George Spruce Kings: Nicholas Poisson

The top scorer for the Spruce Kings, and one of their returning players from last years championship team, Poisson has been a leader for this younger group trying to re-establish their championship pedigree. Poisson hasn’t been a goal scorer, but his 23 points in 21 games and 17 assists leads the Spruce Kings in both categories. Despite the losses to begin the year, Poisson was a factor in both games, chipping in 3 assists in the 2 games.

3 Keys To The Game

Despite the Spruce Kings’ record, beating the defending champions in any league isn’t an easy task. The Eagles will have to continue their resurgence in play the last few weeks and prove they’re truly turning the corner, and the last step in that process is winning games against the better teams. They started this season off strong, but find themselves in a pivotal position as the 3rd game of the season series swings around. Here are tonight’s 3 keys to the game.

  • Special Teams: A common theme for the Eagles this season has been the lack of success with the man advantage for a team with as much skill as the Eagles possess. They need to be better with the man advantage and start using it as a way to turn the corner and put themselves over the hump. If they can find some more powerplay goals, with their recent uptick in even strength production, the wins will follow.
  • Discipline: A key the Eagles seemingly need to follow every game, but not just for their penalty kill. The Eagles need to learn how to stay out of the box so they can continue dominating teams at 5 on 5 when they’ve found their game.
  • Crash the net: Something which came up last game in a tight checking game was the lack of open ice both teams managed to find, despite the olympic ice surface at The Nest. As the Eagles continue to play well and push play, they need to get in front and bang home their 2nd and 3rd chance opportunities. They’ve seen some success recently, now it’s up to the boys to keep that engraved in their game in order to really take it to the rest of the league.

Summary

An important game for the Eagles tonight as they’ll look to climb out of the bottom of the mainland division, and within 4 points of the 3rd place team in the division, the Prince George Spruce Kings. The Eagles will need to capitalize with the man-advantage, keep themselves out of the box, and get to the dirty areas to defeat the defending champions, but they’re more than capable. It’ll set up an exciting Friday night showdown at ‘The Nest’, starting at 7pm.


Tickets are still available for tonight’s game! You can walk up to the box office starting at 6:00pm 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 6:50pm. Puck drop for tonight’s game will be 7:00pm.