Monday, March 10, 2014

GAMEDAY: Eagles @ Rivermen

Mainland Division Semi-Final, Game 5

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Langley Rivermen
When: March 10, 7:15 pm
Where: Langley Events Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

After a rest day, the Eagles return to the Langley Events Centre for a tie-breaking Game Five in what has, to this point, been an enthralling Mainland Division semi-final. Surrey took Game Four Saturday night in a 7-5 barnburner that featured a hat-trick and five-point effort from rookie blueliner Phil Johansson and a 39-save effort in goal from fellow freshman Bo Didur.

As expected, the two games on the larger South Surrey Arena ice surface featured no shortage of offense, and tonight, the dynamic could well change back to what we witnessed in the first two games of the series. The Eagles asserted themselves well in a difficult building to find points in the first two contests, and will need another committed effort tonight if they are to gain their first lead in the best-of-seven series.

After being shut down in Game 3, Danton Heinen enjoyed his most prolific playoff game Saturday, putting up four assists. Heinen, along with Anthony Conti and Chase McMurphy, are co-leaders in Surrey's playoff scoring race with six points each.

The Eagles' power-play has gotten plenty of work, and has cashed in too, clicking at an 8/27 rate through the series. Surrey can't count on getting nine power-plays again in Game Five, however.

Last Meeting: Six of Surrey's seven goals Saturday, and seven of the last eight overall have been scored by defensemen. Game Four was also the first of Surrey's three home-ice wins over Langley this season not to be decided in overtime.

Our Opponent: The Rivermen will be happy to be home at the Langley Events Centre for one last time in this series (a Game 7 would take place at George Preston Recreation Centre). Langley conceded a series-high nine power-plays Saturday, and hold the high-water mark among BCHL playoff teams in terms of times short-handed. Watch for the Rivermen's top line of Matt Ustaski, Jakob Reichert and Mitch McLain to match up against the Renouf twins and Anthony Conti again this evening, though Langley coach Bobby Henderson did mix up his forward units in the late-going of Saturday's Game Four. Ustaski leads all scorers in the series with six goals and nine points.

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