Series preview – Eagles vs. Spruce Kings

#3 Surrey Eagles vs. #1 Prince George Spruce Kings
Game one – Friday, March 16 – 7 p.m. at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena in Prince George

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Season Series

The lower-seed Eagles took 10 of a possible 16 points from the Spruce Kings in eight meetings this season. Prince George won three in regulation plus an overtime loss for seven points.

Last time they played

The Spruce Kings visited Surrey Feb. 16 and were handed a 5-3 loss as Eagles forwards Matthew Campese and Ty Westgard had a goal and two assists each. Daniel Davidson had 27 saves for the win. PG forwards Chong Min Lee and Patrick Cozzi had two helpers apiece in defeat.

First-Round Performers

Prince George Spruce Kings:

D Jay Keranen (2-2-4)
Keranen did not score a goal all season but his two in the playoffs are both game-winners. His third-period tally in Game 7 against Chilliwack was the series-clincher and he also assisted on the tying goal that game.

F Ethan de Jong (4-2-6)
The North Vancouver product had a pair of two-goal games in Round 1, including Game 7, to account for his goalscoring so far. He’s been dangerous on the penalty kill with two shorthanded goals which matches his output from the entire regular season.

G Evan DeBrouwer (4-3/.927 SV%/1.92 GAA)
DeBrouwer’s first win of the postseason was a shutout in Game 2 against Chilliwack. He faced 30 shots in two of the games and won both of the contests that went to overtime (Game 3 and Game 5).

Surrey Eagles:

F Desi Burgart (8-1-9)
Burgart got them in bunches in Round 1 against Langley with four goals in Game 4 and a hat trick in the decisive Game 6. Both those games were on home ice but he also scored one goal on the road in Game 1.

D Owen Norton (0-6-6)
With four helpers on the man advantage, Norton has been making the Eagles power play go from the back end. The rookie blueliner is tied for third in defenceman scoring in the playoffs.

F Chase Danol (3-3-6)
The rookie forward has quietly moved into a tie for second in team scoring with the same stat line as BCHL 2nd Team All-Star Ty Westgard. Danol was 11th in team scoring during the regular season but has more than supported the big guns in the playoffs.

From the Broadcast Booth

Eagles play-by-play voice Steve Erickson on the momentum gained from Round 1 and what it could mean for this series:

“Getting through that round with Langley seemed to be more of a motivational tool than anything else. I know they had a little bit of a dismal finish to the season on their road trip to the Island but they’ve really turned it around, they’ve got the top guys really playing well. I don’t think it’s going to be a chippy series, I think it’s going to be a fast-skating series.”

On any dark horse Eagles performers to keep an eye on:

“… one that has really picked up his game plan the last couple of games is [Matthew] Campese, the one they pulled in from West Kelowna earlier in the year. He’s hungry, really wants the puck. He can be like a wolf out there.”

On a key for the Eagles’ attack:

“I think the one thing that they’re going to have to do is get to [Spruce Kings goalie Evan] DeBrouwer. Get the puck to him and go in and challenge for the rebound every chance they can.”

Spruce Kings play-by-play voice Brendan Pawliw on getting past Chilliwack in a Game 7 setting:

“[The Chiefs] definitely cranked it up in the playoffs and pushed the Spruce Kings pretty much to the limit. I think [Prince George] can draw a lot of confidence from a series like that. If you remember they had a heartbreaking loss to end their season last year against Wenatchee so to finally get over that hump and to vault yourself into the elite eight… can only help their confidence.”

On a PG unsung hero all season:

“I think first and foremost I think you’ve got to mention Chase Ruddy, he’s been arguably the best and most rugged defenceman all year long for the Prince George Spruce Kings. He’s on the ice every night against the other team’s top line, best players every night… he’s a guy that I think will be key for the Spruce Kings in not so much the offensive part of the game but on a defensive side and in terms of grinding along the wall, hitting those skilled forwards and just making life difficult.”