Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Coquitlam Express
When: December 15, 4:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
The Eagles could earn a four-point weekend with a victory against their division rivals from Coquitlam this afternoon at South Surrey Arena. The Eagles put together a strong team effort in Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Nanaimo Clippers, and got a late go-ahead goal from Danton Heinen and three-point effort from Nic Pierog to run their current home winning streak to three games.
Even more impressive was the Eagles defensive commitment Saturday. Devon Fordyce was strong in a 35-save effort but was the beneficiary of hard work in front of him. Many of Nanaimo's 36 shots were swallowed up by the 19 year-old Cochrane, Alberta product, who earned his sixth win as an Eagle Saturday.
I also thought Philippe Johansson in particular put together a stellar effort on Surrey's back end, standing up Clipper forwards and refusing to give up on the play if caught up-ice.
If past history is any indication, offense could be plentiful Sunday. The last two meetings alone saw Surrey and Coquitlam combine for 27 goals. Each team's strength lies with their respective forward group, and on the big ice at South Surrey Arena that could well result in a bevy of offensive opportunities.
Last Meeting: A wild encounter in Coquitlam saw the Express come away winners 9-6 on November 29th thanks in part to a hat-trick from Joey Santucci. Braedan Russell had a hat-trick of his own for the Eagles. Coquitlam leads the season series 4-2.
Our Opponent: Coquitlam is coming off a 6-3 home loss to the Nanaimo Clippers Friday night and will be eager to ward off the Eagles, who with a win today could climb back to within three points of the third-place Express. Second-year forward Adam Rockwood is the centrepiece on a flashy top six, though only 8 of his team-leading 41 points have been goals (he has 13 points against Surrey this season, leading all scorers in the series thus far). Barry Wolff's squad is the second highest-scoring team in the BCHL with 127 goals for; only the Penticton Vees have scored more. 20 year-old Gordie Defiel has been the goaltender of record in five of the six previous meetings, posting a 3-2 record.
In the Press Box: Neither side has any listed injuries.
Saturday Audio: If you missed it on last night's show, click here for a conversation with defenseman Brian Drapluk.