Who: Surrey Eagles @ Langley Rivermen
When: January 4, 7:15 pm
Where: Langley Events Centre
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
The Eagles have a chance to go two for two to begin 2014 after an emotional win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals last night at South Surrey Arena.
Surrey fired home six goals, three of which came in the first period, in a 6-4 triumph that was overshadowed by an injury to leading scorer Jonah Renouf.
Tonight, the Eagles turn their attention to a divisional opponent in Langley with an eye on moving back to within two points of third-place Coquitlam. The Eagles have run into strong goaltending against Langley this season, though, and tonight will try to reverse a trend that's seen them outscored 13-4 in three previous meetings at the Langley Events Centre this season.
Forward Luke Sandler broke out in a big way last night, scoring his first goals in seven games, including the game-winner in the third period. Danton Heinen led all scorers with four points Friday after opening the scoring 4 minutes into the game.
An early start would be massive for the Eagles this evening. Surrey has endured its struggles away from home, and five of the club's seven away victories this season have come when scoring the first goal. Special teams will also be a key in a fixture that is sure to again provide power-play opportunities; the Eagles surrendered three power-play goals last night, and also gave up three short-handed markers during their last visit to Langley Events Centre.
Last Meeting: The Rivermen won their fifth game against Surrey by a 5-2 score on December 13th in Langley. Our hosts lead the season series 5-1.
Our Opponent: Langley comes into play tonight on the heels of a 4-3 overtime victory in Chilliwack last night, pushing their point total to 51. Captain Mitch McLain leads the attack with 42 points and is one of five Rivermen with 10 or more goals. Langley's big, physical defense is anchored by 20 year-old Zach Urban and 19 year-old Chris Forney, who leads the Rivermen blue line with 24 points. 15-game winner Brock Crossthwaite was the goaltender of record in the last meeting between the two teams.
In the Press Box: In addition to Renouf, Surrey will be without forward Colton Mackie. Langley forward Brendan Gulka is suspended.