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GAME PREVIEW: Smoke Eaters Conclude Three-Game Road Trip In Surrey

PHOTO: Garrett James/BCHL

The Trail Smoke Eaters look to close their three-game road trip on a high note as they head to the Lower Mainland to battle the Surrey Eagles on Sunday afternoon at the South Surrey Arena.

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Smoke Eaters vs. Eagles 2018/19 Schedule:

Sunday, November 4th @ South Surrey Arena (4:00 PM)

Friday, January 4th @ Trail Memorial Centre (7:00 PM)

The Smoke Eaters and Eagles open their season series on Sunday afternoon with Trail earning five of a possible six points from Surrey in last year’s season set. The Smoke Eaters opened the season series with a 7-2 victory before falling in overtime in Surrey in early January by a 5-4 score. Later in the month, Trail picked up a 7-4 victory against the Eagles to win the season set at the Trail Memorial Centre.

Trail comes into the game after suffering a 6-4 setback to the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday night at the Island Savings Centre. Hayden Rowan scored once on the power play and once shorthanded while Jeremy Smith and Max Kryski scored singles in the loss. Adam Marcoux stopped 28 of the 34 shots he faced in the game in his 9th loss of the season before Tanner Marshall stopped all four shots he faced after coming on in relief for the final 9:50 of the game.

Smoke Eaters Leading Scorers:

Braeden Tuck (8-11-19)

Kent Johnson (9-9-18)

Trevor Zins (5-13-18)

Carter Jones (5-11-16)

Diarmad DiMurro (0-15-15)

Hayden Rowan found the back of the net twice on Saturday night at the Island Savings Centre and has now scored five of his nine goals against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Pemberville, Ohio native is tied with Kent Johnson for the team lead in goals with those nine and sits tied for 18th in the BC Hockey League on the goal scoring department.

Each of the Smoke Eaters and Eagles will be looking to keep the puck out of their nets, especially on the big Olympic ice surface that the South Surrey Arena possesses. Trail comes into Sunday’s game having surrendered 80 goals against in 21 games this season and ranks 14th in the league in that department while Surrey sits 17th in the BCHL with 96 goals against on the season in 22 games played.

The special teams play may again be a factor in this afternoon’s contest with the Smoke Eaters and Eagles each having their struggles on the penalty killing side. Trail ranks 17th in the league at 74.6% while Surrey sees themselves at 78.1%, good enough for 14th in the BCHL. The power play has been a different story with the Smoke Eaters tallying twice last night on the man advantage and holding a BCHL-best 22.3% power play.

The Surrey Eagles come into Sunday’s matinee with a 6-16-0-0 record after a 6-2 setback to the Powell River Kings on Friday night on home ice. Holden Katzalay and Ty Westgard scored the goals for the Eagles while Kyle Dumba made 15 saves on 19 shots to start, taking his 6th loss before being relieved by Cayden Bailey, who turned aside 10 of the 12 shots he faced in the game.

Eagles Leading Scorers:

Ty Westgard (9-23-32)

Chase Stevenson (8-13-21)

Corey Clifton (4-10-14)

Matthew McKim (1-10-11)

Justyn Gurney (5-5-10)

The Eagles come into the year after one of their best seasons in recent memory, advancing to the second round of the BCHL Playoffs with a 6-game series win against the Langley Rivermen before falling in seven games to the eventual Mainland Division champion Prince George Spruce Kings. There was not much in the way of turnover from that group with just three players returning from a season ago including captain Ty Westgard and defensemen Brendan Winslow and Cody Schiavon. The Eagles also made a coaching change as Brandon West resigned with Peter Schaefer taking over the reins.

One of those three returning players has been the biggest catalyst for the offence over the course of the season in Surrey. Captain Ty Westgard has been lighting the lamp, to the tune of being ranked second in the league in scoring. The Surrey, BC native has collected 9 goals and 32 points to sit behind just Alex Newhook for the league lead and comes into Sunday’s matinee on a five-game point streak with 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in that time, including a five-assist night against the Victoria Grizzlies on October 21st. The four-year BCHL veteran has registered 42 goals and 157 points in 156 career games in the league.

Surrey also added to their scoring with the addition of forward Chase Stevenson in the summer from the West Kelowna Warriors. The West Kelowna, BC native has produced at a point-per-game pace this season with 8 goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 21 games in the 2018/19 campaign. Even with that scoring, and playing on Olympic sized ice at the South Surrey Arena, the Eagles have played to the tune of a 1-8–0-0 record on home ice this season, including six straight losses at home.

The Smoke Eaters and Eagles will drop the puck at 4:00 PM this afternoon from the South Surrey Arena. As always, the game will be steamed live on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as on HockeyTV.com beginning at 3:50 PM with the pre-game show with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.