Friday, December 13, 2013

Gameday: Eagles @ Rivermen

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Langley Rivermen
When: December 13, 7:15 pm
Where: Langley Events Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles look to reap the rewards of a hard-working week of practice as they kick off a three-game weekend Friday in Langley. Surrey, idle since last Saturday's loss in Penticton, went through several up-tempo practices in advance of crucial divisional matchups against the Rivermen and Express this weekend, split with the lone visit of the Nanaimo Clippers Saturday.

Friday, Surrey faces the division leaders with an eye on recapturing their offensive flair. The Eagles have been limited to one goal in each of the last three meetings with Langley, despite being the second highest-scoring team in the Mainland division. Red-hot Danton Heinen, who scored three times last weekend, leads a voracious second line with points in each of his last six games and nine of the past ten overall.

At the other end of the ice, Surrey could well hand a start to Devon Fordyce between the pipes after rookie Bo Didur carried the load in the Interior last weekend. Fordyce and Didur have played only two of the five meetings between the Eagles and Rivermen this season.

Both sides will remember the last meeting's extracurricular activities, too, notably a late first-period set-to that netted suspensions and a heap of penalty minutes. The Mainland division boasts the top two teams in terms of times short-handed (Chilliwack and Langley, Surrey is twelfth). Don't be surprised to see both clubs' special-teams put to work Friday.

Last Meeting: The Rivermen took home a 2-1 victory through a Marcus Vela game-winner in a physical Remembrance Day matinee on November 11th. Langley has won the last four meetings between the two sides and leads the season series 4-1.

Our Opponent: The first-place Rivermen will surely be looking to increase the three-point gap between themselves and second-place Prince George before the holiday break. The first Mainland team to reach 20 wins, Langley is led offensively by captain Mitch McLain (14-18-32), while former Coquitlam set-up man Will Cook sits second in team scoring four points back (Cook, by the way, leads all scorers in the Surrey/Langley season series with 7 points). Head coach Bobby Henderson re-jigged his goaltending tandem recently, picking up former Chiefs and Smoke Eaters netminder Lyndon Stanwood at the December 1st deadline. Stanwood beat his former Trail mates in his Rivermen debut last Friday.

In the Press Box: Neither side has any listed injuries.

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