Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
When: January 31, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
The Eagles can step one pace closer to clinching a playoff berth with a win tonight against the Chilliwack Chiefs. A weekend sweep would clinch the fourth seed in the Mainland division for Surrey, who enter play 16 points up on the Chiefs with 10 games left in the regular season.
Surrey will be feeling extra confident after a hard-working 5-2 triumph over Coquitlam two nights ago, highlighted by a four-point effort from forward Braedan Russell. Devon Fordyce celebrated his 20th birthday a day late with a 37-save performance in goal, remaining steady as the Express pressed during the final fourty minutes Wednesday night.
Tonight, the Eagles face a more physical group in Chilliwack, and in order to find success this evening will need to match that intensity. Surrey outhit the Express Wednesday (the exclamation mark perhaps coming in the second period when Anthony Conti levelled BCHL assist leader Adam Rockwood), and will need to carry that momentum forward into a tough matchup against Harvey Smyl's Chiefs tonight.
This evening's game is also Surrey's stop on the BCHL Five Hole for Food Challenge. The Eagles, and Five Hole for Food, will be accepting non-perishable food donations in support of the Surrey Food Bank at tonight's game.
Last Meeting: The Chiefs dampened Surrey's holiday spirits with a home-and-home sweep December 28th and 29th, winning the latter game 5-2 at Prospera Centre. Chilliwack leads the season series 4-1.
Our Opponent: The Chiefs will be bolstered by the presence of friends and family as they celebrate Parents Weekend tonight and tomorrow. Chilliwack, like Surrey, made moves at the deadline, parting ways with shifty scorer Austin Plevy (AJHL Brooks) and hefty blueliner Cooper Rush (Prince George), but bring a hard-working crew to South Surrey Arena tonight in search of their fifth victory in six tries against the Eagles. D-man Carter Cochrane, who recently signed with Everett in the WHL, leads the Chiefs in scoring with 13 goals and 37 points, while overage forward Mathieu Tibbet is the top forward scorer with 36. 18 year-old Josh Halpenny is expected to get the nod in goal tonight for Chilliwack; cohort Spencer Tremblay was the goaltender of record in each of the last two meetings.