Friday, January 10, 2014

Gameday: Eagles @ Spruce Kings

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Prince George Spruce Kings
When: January 10, 7:00 pm
Where: Prince George Coliseum

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: none

The new-look Surrey Eagles face their first test this evening in Prince George after a week of high-profile departures and new arrivals.

Gone are four overagers including snipers Brett Mulcahy and Nic Pierog, and in their place, skilled forwards Chase McMurphy and Anthony Conti along with a host of future considerations. Conti scored in his Surrey debut last Saturday, while McMurphy, a 19 year-old Alaska commit who put up 51 points with the AJHL's Calgary Mustangs last year, will play his first game in green and blue this evening.

The moves signify a marked attempt to build for the 2014-15 season, but this year's work is far from over. Nine points up on Chilliwack for the final playoff berth, the Eagles would do well to take some points from Prince George in an effort to both increase that gap, and to find some much-needed swagger away from home, as Surrey searches for just its fourth away victory since the end of September.

Last Meeting: Surrey closed the pre-holiday portion of the 2013-14 schedule with a 5-3 win over Prince George back on December 19th, thanks in part to a pair of Braedan Russell goals. The Eagles lead the season series with a 3-2-1 record through six meetings.

Our Opponent: Prince George returns home after starting 2014 on a lengthy Island/Mainland trip that netted just two of a possible six points, and come into tonight's game seven points back of division-leading Langley. No question, though, the Spruce Kings are comfortable in the cozy Coliseum, as their 10-5-0-1 home record would indicate. Chad Staley leads a speedy top six forward group with 42 points on the season and is one of five Spruce Kings with 10 or more goals. Prince George has surrended an average of 2.59 goals per game, which is tops in the Mainland division and fourth in the BCHL overall.

In the Press Box: The Eagles are expected to be without forward Jonah Renouf for both games this weekend. Prince George has no listed injuries.

Pierog Commits: News broke Wednesday that Pierog, who made his Penticton Vees debut last Sunday, has committed to Clarkson for next season. The Georgetown, Ontario product is enjoying a career year, and is very deserving of the privilege to play NCAA Division I hockey for the next four years. Congrats Nic!

Fraser-Lee To West Kelowna: News also became official last night that the West Kelowna Warriors have signed former Eagles blueliner Ryan Fraser-Lee. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native hasn't played since November 9th due to injury and was taken off the Surrey roster because of overage numbers, but had been practicing with the team in recent weeks. He'll add some grit and real character to the Warriors the rest of the way this year. Best of luck Ryan!

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