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Eagles look to vets to set the tone heading into Friday opener

The Surrey Eagles open their 2009/10 regular season campaign this Friday, September 11 at the South Surrey Arena versus the Langley Chiefs in what is expected to be an up-tempo affair.

“The Chiefs [are] going to bring a tough style team to the table, and they have some guys like Colton Beck who can put the puck in the net,” said Eagles head coach Shane Kuss. “We’re expecting a physical contest that the Chiefs bring.”

After going 2-1 in exhibition play this preseason, the Eagles are looking forward to a big year in the BCHL. Coach Kuss spoke about the Eagles’ returning veterans, and the role they will play for Surrey this season.

“We’re going to lean heavily on the returning guys who were here last year,” said Kuss. “[Chris] Santiago, [Andrew] Wallace, [Grant] Toulmin, Tyler Morley, Liam Harding, Cole Gelley, Doug Marshall, Vinny Lessard, and Derek Henderson. Those are the guys who have played here before and understand what it’s about, so we’re leaning on them to lead the other guys through.”

The “other guys” Kuss refers to are the healthy crop of BCHL rookies in the Eagles’ line-up. Kuss spoke about what to expect from his younger players.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys, but we’ve got a lot of young guys that are very good, and skilled, and fast,” explained Kuss. “It might take a little time to get used to the speed and the level of the league, but their skill level is high enough that I think they will adjust to this league and be very successful.”

The entire Eagles organization, right up to ownership, is gearing up for Friday’s season-opener and the 2009/10 season. Eagles’ co-owner Ronnie Paterson offered his thoughts on the road ahead for this season’s Surrey Eagles and their fans.

“From our vantage point through the recruiting efforts, I think fans will see a product that is exciting to watch, very skilled, and very, very, hard-working,” said Paterson. “Those characteristics are things the coaching staff preaches and are very committed to developing.”

As the anticipation of this year’s quest for the Fred Page Cup ramps up, Coach Kuss commented on what he expects from this year’s Surrey Eagles.

“We’re quite excited about the upcoming season,” said Kuss. “And excited about the guys coming in, the new guys. The group has really gelled and come together as a group, and we’re looking forward to the start of the season.”

The Surrey Eagles host the Langley Chiefs this Friday, September 11 at the South Surrey Arena at 7:00pm. The pre-game party, including a BBQ and live DJ, starts at 6:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Eagles box office or by calling 604.531.GOAL (4625)