Saturday, February 22, 2014

Gameday: Eagles @ Clippers

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Nanaimo Clippers
When: February 22, 7:00 pm
Where: Frank Crane Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: NONE

Two teams that have their final seedings locked in meet tonight in Nanaimo, as the Eagles continue their Island road swing in the Harbour City against the Clippers.

The Eagles will finish the regular season fourth in the Mainland division, and after results elsewhere Friday now know they will face Langley in the first round of the BCHL playoffs, while the Clippers will end the campaign as the Island division's third seed.

Motivation shouldn't be a problem for Surrey, however. A frustrating 4-1 setback in Powell River last night extended the Eagles mini-slump to three games, as the Kings put together a strong defensive performance to shut down Surrey's top shooters on the Sunshine Coast.

Darius Davidson had the Eagles' lone tally last night, and comes into Saturday's fixture with goals in consecutive games. His goal Friday was just as much about finish as it was determination from defenseman Kale Bennett, who fought through traffic and a lost edge in the neutral zone to gain the Powell River line and set up the scoring opportunity.

Last night's setback was the first loss away from home against an Island division opponent for Surrey this season, and overall the Eagles have a respectable 5-3 record against opposition from across the straight. Tonight, they'll try to improve on that, and right the ship in their penultimate regular-season game.

Last Meeting: Surrey could earn the season series sweep with a victory tonight, after the Eagles won the first meeting of the season 3-1 on a Danton Heinen winner December 14th at South Surrey Arena.

Our Opponent: The Clippers are also coming off a loss, falling 7-2 in Duncan to the Cowichan Valley Capitals last night in a physical affair between the two Island rivals. The Clippers are led offensively by 18 year-old Brendan Taylor (55 points), but the player perhaps typifing Nanaimo's club this season might well be overage goaltender Jayson Argue, who leads BCHL netminders in games and minutes played, and all the while has posted a sparkling .929 save percentage. A sizeable, physical defense anchored by captain Scott Prier complements Nanaimo's back end.

In the Press Box: The Eagles were without goaltender Devon Fordyce and overage forward Colton Mackie Friday, with Valley West Hawks affiliates Paul Savage and Eric Callegari earning callups. Nanaimo could be without veteran forwards Mason Mitchell and Luke Sandler after both were assessed major penalties last night.

No comments: