Early Morning Affair
Surrey, BC – For the only time this season, the Surrey Eagles (23-23-7) are getting up early to play a morning B.C Hockey League game, and it’ll be the last time they face off against the Prince George Spruce Kings (17-30-6). Today’s game is the Eagles School day game, where tons of students from around the lower mainland will cheer the boys on to hopefully their 10th win at home this season. The season series between these 2 teams has been lopsided, with the Eagles taking 6 of the 7 games leading up to this morning’s start time.
It’ll be Reece Klassen who returns to the crease this morning as he’ll make his return after being sidelined with an illness. For the full roster, check out our social media channels later in the morning.
Who To Watch Out For
The Eagles are looking for their 10th win at home this season, which would push their home record back to .500 as this season comes to a close. While the results haven’t always been there, their play has slowly gotten better inside ‘The Nest’ with each passing month. When the clock strikes 11 this morning, the boys are going against an opponent who they’ve had success against all year. With an early start, here are the players to watch out for.
Surrey Eagles: Brandon Santa Juana
Santa Juana has had himself quite the year. The 17 year old high schooler announced his NCAA Division 1 commitment to the University of Connecticut. He’s put up 13 goals and 36 points in 51 games. He’s the only returning player from last year’s team which missed the playoffs. He also had 3 points on Sunday to help the Eagles beat the Nanaimo Clippers. It’s been a successful year all around for Santa, and he’ll look to continue his good fortunes again today.
Prince George Spruce Kings: Nicholas Poisson
For the Vancouver native, Poisson has found success individually this year sporting BCHL career highs in goals (21), assists (26), and points (47) along with every other statistical category. However, after winning the BCHL with the Spruce Kings last year, this season hasn’t been as kind to the team. Poisson will look to finish off his strong season with another game against a team he personally has done well against this year.
3 Keys To The Game
There are always things to improve heading into playoffs, but the Eagles have a couple of things they know they need to clean up. It’ll continue this afternoon as the Eagles are looking to beat a team who only has 1 win in the month of February, and just 4 since the calendar flipped to 2020. For the Eagles to keep that number the same, here are the 3 key’s to today’s game.
- Defense: The Eagles defense has been lacking of late, as the team gave up 13 goals in their last 3 games, going 1-2 on the week. In the playoffs, that kind of defensive effort just won’t be enough and they know it. Look for the Eagles to be much better defensively, despite the early start time inside ‘The Nest’ this afternoon.
- Keep Things Simple: While the defense needs to improve, the Eagles were able to score 6 goals in their win against the Clippers on Sunday. How you ask? By keeping things simple. If the boys can do that, they’ll come away with another win to put in the bank as they look to keep a firm grasp on 3rd in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.
- Reece Klassen: Goaltending has been a staple of this team since November, however both goaltenders had themselves a rough week. Klassen gave up 4 goals in his last start against Penticton, while also dealing with flu like symptoms. He was then held out of the lineup due to his illness for the weekend as the team let him get his rest. Look for a rejuvenated effort from the Cloverdale native as he looks for his 7th win of the year.
It’s not a usual start time for the boys, but learning to be professional means learning how to get themselves ready to go for any game. Today, they put that to the test with an 11am start against the Prince George Spruce Kings in front of students from many schools around the Surrey area. It’ll be a great atmosphere, and should be another great BCHL Mainland Division showdown inside the South Surrey Arena. The broadcast on HockeyTV and Mixlr will start at 10:50am, with puck drop scheduled for 11am.