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Surrey’s Special Teams Propel Eagles Over Cowichan Valley

Surrey, B.C. – The Surrey Eagles (7-8-0) looked to complete the weekend sweep and make up some ground in the Coastal Conference on a Sunday afternoon against the Cowichan Valley Capitals (3-15-0). It wasn’t an easy game, but the Eagles pulled through with a powerplay goal from Grayden Slipec to come away with the 2-1 win inside the South Surrey Arena.

It wasn’t the cleanest game Surrey has played this year, but the team was able to battle and lock down the victory. In a game where they needed to win the special teams battle, the Eagles finally found success on both the powerplay and the penalty kill. Before Grayden Slipec’s go ahead goal with the man advantage, Surrey killed off a full double minor which was assessed to Primo Self earlier in the middle frame. Max Prazma got the win while making 26 saves on 27 shots against, and Self scored the first goal of the game in the first period.

For Eagles Head Coach Cam Keith, he was happy with how his team started the game and the way they were able to hang on for the win. “I thought we came out with the right mentality and threw a lot of pucks on net. We got into a bit of penalty trouble in the 2nd and it was a sleepy Sunday game from that point forward. However we found a way to win, especially in the last 10 minutes where we locked it down in the defensive zone.”

The hope for the Eagles coaching staff is a game like tonight where the Eagles special teams came through can help them build confidence and momentum moving forward throughout the season. Cam touched on both special team units after the game and praised his group’s resiliency throughout their struggles and finding a way to get a much needed goal with the man-advantage. “The guys did a really good job of keeping them to the outside and Prazma made saves when we needed to on the penalty kill. Our powerplay needed to find a way to get one in, and it was fitting Grayden Slipec was the guy to do it with a one time shot from up top. You have to win the special teams battles to win hockey games and we did tonight.”

Throughout the game, the Eagles lost a couple of forwards to injury and penalty trouble but they still found a way to win despite the circumstances. A game like tonight should be a huge building block for this team not just on the ice but also building morale in the room. “As a young team you have to learn how to play these games. Some games we’ll lose players whether through injuries or penalties and so they’ll have to rally around each other, play short shifts and different positions. These kind of games can bond this team because they played in situations they normally wouldn’t play in.”

The Eagles are back at it next weekend on the road in Coquitlam on Friday night. Puck drop from inside the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex is set for 7:00pm, and you can catch the broadcast live on BCHL TV (Powered by HockeyTV) and on mixlr.com/eaglesbchl.