Saturday, January 25, 2014

Gameday: Eagles @ SilverBacks

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Salmon Arm SilverBacks
When: January 25, 7:00 pm
Where: Shaw Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: NONE

After a 3-0 shutout win last night in Trail, the Eagles will try for a third straight victory when they visit the SilverBacks tonight in Salmon Arm. Devon Fordyce stopped 31 shots Friday as the Eagles avenged an earlier loss to the Smoke Eaters with a tidy performance at Cominco Arena.

Tonight, Surrey faces one of only two remaining BCHL teams against whom they have yet to play a game this season (Victoria being the other). No doubt the Eagles will carry plenty of momentum into tonight's matchup at Shaw Centre, but in doing so must be cogniscent of their opponent's offensive firepower.

An Interior division connection might well be the spark Surrey needs up front tonight. Former Viper Chase McMurphy and former Vee Anthony Conti teamed up on a pretty power-play goal in last night's second period, and through their time in the Interior division this season will know tonight's opponent better than most. Their line with new captain Danton Heinen has morphed into the Eagles' #1 unit, and each of the three forwards have put up points in five of Surrey's last six games.

As a unit, Surrey would also do well to continue the type of defensive commitment exhibited last night in Trail, too. The Smoke Eaters were granted few second-chance opportunities on Fordyce save on the man-advantage, and to a man the Eagles seemed committed to clearing space in front of their netminder.

Both teams are looking to lock down the fourth and final playoff berths in their respective divisions. Needless to say, the points tonight are important.

Last Meeting: Tonight marks the first meeting between the two sides since a 2-1 Surrey overtime victory January 27th, 2013 at South Surrey Arena. The Eagles won both matchups last season, both on Jordan Klimek extra-time winners.

Our Opponent: Salmon Arm were idle Friday, and enter tonight's game only two points ahead of fifth-place Merritt in the dogfight for the Interior playoff places. The SilverBacks top line is as good as any in the BCHL, featuring league scoring leader Landon Smith (68 points) and Michigan Tech commits Alex Gillies and Evan Anderson alongside him. The SilverBacks have the luxury of having two NCAA Division I-committed netminders too, with 20 year-old Adam Clark earning the lion's share of the workload between the pipes this season. Former Eagle Michael Roberts faces Surrey for the first time tonight since a December trade that saw him make one appearance for Trail as well.

In the Press Box: Forwards Mitchell Fyffe and Colton Mackie miss out again this evening for the Eagles. Salmon Arm have no players listed as injured.

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