Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Penticton Vees
When: February 8, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
The euphoria of securing a post-season berth is a thing of the past as the Eagles return home tonight to face the Interior division-leading Penticton Vees. Surrey clinched a spot in the Mainland division bracket last Saturday in Chilliwack, and with eight games remaining in the regular season can now set their sights on finishing strong, and closing the gap between themselves and the third-place Coquitlam Express, who sit seven points ahead of Surrey entering play today.
Surrey were successful last weekend thanks in part to offensive depth: all three scoring lines contributed greatly in the two wins over the Chiefs, with Austin Ferguson netting last Saturday's game-winner on a late second-period power-play. The line of Nathan & Jonah Renouf with Braedan Russell led the way, combining for 22 points.
Tonight, Surrey faces a stiff test in Penticton, and will need to maintain the work ethic that's brought them success over the last three weeks. It certainly feels as though the team is gelling at just the right time, and tonight we'll see just how they stack up against one of the BCHL's best.
Last Meeting: The Vees took game one of the two-game season series with a 7-1 victory in the Okanagan on December 7th.
Our Opponent: The Vees, playing their third game in four days, travel to the Lower Mainland minus their head coach today. Fred Harbinson and Shane McColgan were both handed automatic one-game suspensions after the Vees' 3-2 win over Salmon Arm last night, after McColgan was assessed a double minor in the first period for an equipment violation. Nonetheless, the Vees bring a potent lineup to South Surrey Arena headlined by 70-point man (and captain) Brad McClure as well as former WHLer Erik Benoit, who played in last spring's Memorial Cup (with McColgan) with the Saskatoon Blades. Former Eagle Nic Pierog makes his return to Surrey tonight, as well. The Georgetown, Ontario native has 2 goals in 11 games as a Vee, recently committing to Clarkson University as well.
In the Press Box: Both Mitchell Fyffe and Colton Mackie were on the ice at practice this week and could return tonight. Penticton is without forward Ben Dalpe, while fellow playmaker McColgan and head coach Harbinson are both suspended as mentioned above.