Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gameday: Eagles @ Vees

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Penticton Vees
When: December 7, 6:00 pm
Where: South Okanagan Events Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles and Vees meet tonight for the first time since Surrey claimed the Fred Page Cup in the South Okanagan this past April. Many of the contestants in that BCHL final series have moved on, but there's no question Saturday's matchup will bring back memories of Surrey's fifth league championship.

Both teams come in having won on the road Friday, Surrey doing so in dramatic fashion in West Kelowna. After trailing 3-1 in the third period, the Eagles' offense clicked three times inside five minutes to earn a 4-3 victory at Royal Lepage Place. Luke Sandler's rebound effort 4:28 from the end of regulation proved to be the difference as the Eagles won their third game in four outings.

The young Eagles will take real confidence in limiting a high-scoring West Kelowna club to three goals last night. Rookie Bo Didur's 32-save effort included stops that bordered on the impossible, and the likes of Brian Drapluk and Matt Dawson translated a hard-working effort in the defensive zone to a pair of points each at the other end of the ice. The Eagles' power-play was good, too; its 22.2% rating away from the South Surrey Arena is good for fourth in the BCHL.

Last Meeting: Adam Tambellini's overtime winner lifted Surrey to the top of the heap in the BCHL on April 21st. The Vees and Eagles won't conclude this year's season series until February 8th in Surrey.

Our Opponent: Fred Harbinson has again built a quality squad in Penticton, and the Vees come into tonight's game first in the Interior division with 41 points. Captain Brad McClure leads a veteran-laden offense that now includes former Smoke Eater Brendan Lamont and ex-Capital Steen Cooper. Only Powell River have conceded fewer goals than Penticton's 77, but the Vees blueline possesses some pop as well led by Brett Beauvais' 40 points. 20 year-old Olivier Mantha and 18 year-old Hunter Miska have shared duties between the pipes, and both have save percentages over 90%.

In the Press Box: Brett Mulcahy, Colton Mackie and Ryan Fraser-Lee miss out for the Eagles. Penticton forward Travis Blanleil sits out after incurring a suspension earlier in the week.

Friday Audio: If you missed it on last night's show, click here for a conversation with forward Braedan Russell.

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