Greetings Old Friend
Trail, BC – After a gutsy performance saw the Surrey Eagles (10-15-2-3) scrape away with a 4-3 win over the Vernon Vipers, the boys will finish off their 2 game Interior road trip against the red hot Trail Smoke Eaters (19-8-2-1-1). In addition to the rematch between these 2 teams, which saw the Smoke Eaters edge the Eagles in a shootout, both teams see a familiar face wearing a different jersey. Former Eagles captain Cody Schiavon will make his return to Trail’s lineup after being sidelined for all of November against his former club, while Kieran O’Hearn will play his 14th game with the Eagles against his former Trail teammates.
After a spectacular performance in Vernon, Tommy Scarfone will man the crease tonight as he tries to help the Eagles finish off the month of November tied with the Prince George Spruce Kings for 4th in the Mainland division (they trail them by 2 points). For the entire roster for tonight’s game, check out our social media channels later today.
Who To Watch Out For
The Smoke Eaters boast one of the best offences in the entire league, being led by the projected 10th overall pick in the National Hockey League’s 2021 Entry Draft, Kent Johnson. However, it’s a couple of blue liners who’ll get the spotlight as Cam Keith’s young Eagles team gets set to take on Keith’s former team. Here are tonight’s players to watch out for.
Surrey Eagles: Kieran O’Hearn
A North Delta native, Kieran O’Hearn has been excellent ever since being acquired by the Eagles late in October. With 9 points in 13 games played, and playing great defense with Jimmy Darby, O’Hearn has led the Eagles blueline just like their former captain did earlier in the year. Look for another great game from O’Hearn tonight as he continues to prove to Eagles fans that he’s a true top pairing defender in the BC Hockey League.
Trail Smoke Eaters: Cody Schiavon
There’s no use hiding it, Schiavon was a huge part of the organization for his 2 1/2 years with the Eagles. However, he’s only gotten into 3 games so far with the Smoke Eaters since the trade and makes his return tonight. Cody has 3 assists in 3 games with the Smoke Eaters, but his physical presence on Trail’s back end will pose problems all night for the Eagles if he’s able to find his legs early in the game.
3 Keys To The Game
The Cominco Arena in Trail is a tough place to play, just like the Kal Tire Place in Vernon was last night for this young Eagles team. They’re going up against a much more dynamic offense tonight than what they saw yesterday, and they’ll need to be prepared for the challenge against a great Trail team looking for win number 20 on the season. Tonight’s 3 keys to the game are going to be similar to Cam Keith’s 3 keys to the season.
- Make Scarfone’s life easier: The Eagles relied heavily on their starting goaltender to get them through the first 30 minutes of their game against the Vipers on Friday night. After 2 periods, the shots on goal were 29-13 for Vernon, with Scarfone making a number of quality stops to keep them in the game. With Trail’s more dynamic offense, the Eagles will need to play a much better game defensively if they want to win their 2nd game in a row.
- Keep the powerplay rolling: The Eagles powerplay has been scorching hot the past 3 games, going 5 for 14 and helping them get points in their past 2. They’ll need it to continue to be strong while this young team finds their groove at even strength with the loss of a key piece up front.
- Penalty kill: On top of their great powerplay, the Eagles penalty kill has been even better lately, and through much of the season. Their powerplay comes into the game 6th in the league at 82.8%, and killed off all 3 Vernon powerplay opportunities last night. Trail’s powerplay is red hot though, and went 7 for 10 in their 9-2 win over the Merritt Centenialls, so staying out of the box remains critical.
The Eagles will look for a huge win to propel them into a tie for 4th in the Mainland division to end the month of November, and give them a winning streak for only the 2nd time this season. It’ll be a tough task against Schiavon and the Smoke Eaters, but if the Eagles can keep their special teams rolling, and make life a little easier on Scarfone, then anything’s possible in Trail tonight.
You can catch the live broadcast on HockeyTV and Mixlr. The broadcast will start at 6:50pm, with the opening puck drop slated for 7:00pm from Cominco Arena in Trail, BC.