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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Return To Mainland To Take On Eagles

PHOTO: Damon James/BCHL

The West Kelowna Warriors make another trip to the Lower Mainland today searching for their fourth straight victory as they face-off against the Surrey Eagles at the South Surrey Arena on Tuesday night.

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Warriors vs. Eagles 2016/17 Season:

Thursday, November 24th @ South Surrey Arena (6-3 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, January 13th @ Royal LePage Place (5-2 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Warriors vs. Eagles 2017/18 Schedule:

Tuesday, October 10th @ South Surrey Arena (7:00 PM)

Tuesday, February 6th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

The Warriors and Eagles match up against one another after a season series sweep for West Kelowna last year over Surrey with a pair of three-goal victories. A 6-3 victory in South Surrey saw Parm Dhaliwal and Matthew Campese each earned four point nights while Nik Amundrud turned aside 33 of 36 shots. In the second game of the season series, Dhaliwal again paced the Warriors scoring with two assists in the 5-2 victory.

The Warriors enter play on Tuesday night riding a three-game winning streak after posting wins against the Chilliwack Chiefs, Coquitlam Express and most recently, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday night at RLP with a 4-1 victory. RJ Murphy, Jared Marino, Chase Stevenson and Bennett Norlin all tallied in the victory while Nik Amundrud turned aside 34 of the 35 shots he faced on the night for his 4th victory of the season.

Warriors Leading Scorers:

Jared Marino (4-5-9)

Cavin Tilsley (3-6-9)

Matt Kowalski (5-3-8)

Michael Ryan (1-7-8)

Chase Dubois (3-4-7)

Jared Marino and Cavin Tilsley continued their recent offensive success on Saturday night against the Silverbacks and are now tied for the team lead in points with nine. The Warriors captain Marino has a pair of goals and four assists during a three-game point streak while Tilsley is enjoying a three-game point streak of his own wit three goals and four assists for seven points during that span.

Special teams have been talked about quite a bit lately for the Warriors but it has been a big part of the team’s success, ranking 4th in the BCHL on the power play and remain in the top spot on the penalty kill after a big night going 6/7 on Saturday versus Salmon Arm. The Warriors power play scored twice in the game, going 2/8, and improved to 24.1% on the season. Matt Kowalski leads The Tribe in power play goals with 3 while Michael Ryan paces the club in assists on the man advantage with 6 with 1 shorthanded goal coming from forward Cavin Tilsley.

Getting ahead and holding leads has been a big part of the Warriors success throughout 10 games this season with a record of 6-0-0-0 when scoring the game’s first goal. In addition to that situational scoring, the Warriors hold an impressive 6-0-0-0 record when leading after 20 minutes and an even better 7-0-0-0 record when ahead after two periods of play. West Kelowna also has records of 5-1-0-0 when outshooting their opposition and 6-2-0-0 when scoring a power play goal.

The Surrey Eagles come into Tuesday night’s action with a 3-6-1-1 record and most recently played a pair of games up north against the Prince George Spruce Kings over the weekend. The Eagles picked up a 3-2 overtime win on Friday while falling in regulation by a 4-3 score on Saturday night at the RMCA. Mackenzie Merriman, Aaron White and Desi Burgart scored in the defeat on Saturday while Daniel Davidson made 33 saves on 37 shots in his 3rd loss of the season.

Eagles Leading Scorers:
John Wesley (10-3-13)

Ty Westgard (2-9-11)

Desi Burgart (5-4-9)

Owen Norton (0-8-8)

Mackenzie Merriman (3-1-4)

Surrey looks to return back to the BCHL playoffs and are returning 8 players from their 2016/17 squad including captain Jordan Robert, forwards John Wesley, Ty Westgard, Desi Burgart and Jeffrey Stewart. Defensemen Dominic Masellis, Jackson Ross and goaltender Daniel Davidson. The Eagles do have some BCHL experience inserted into their lineup with the additions of Connor Sundquist from the Silverbacks and Ryan Brushett from the Vernon Vipers.

The Eagles have scored a total of 27 goals so far this season and 17 (63%) of those have come from the trio of Wesley, Westgard and Burgart. Wesley has been the most prolific scorer of them all, with his 10 tied for the lead in the BCHL, including a four-goal game against the Vernon Vipers two weeks ago. Westgard leads the team with 9 assists and is on a four-game point streak with two goals and seven points in that span while Burgart shares a four-game point streak with three goals and six points.

The South Surrey Arena is the only one in the BCHL that plays on an Olympic ice surface, which measures in at 30 m x 60 m and adds a completely different element to the game. The Eagles are accustomed to their home ice advantage, scoring 17 goals while giving up 19 compared to their -10-goal differential when playing away from home.

The Warriors and Eagles are slated to drop the puck at 7:00 PM with the pre-game show getting underway at 6:45 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and HockeyTV.com with the voice of the Warriors, Trevor Miller. West Kelowna returns home on Friday, October 13th against the Wenatchee Wild, the first game included in the Warriors Fan’tastic Five ticket package.

The Warriors have introduced a new Fan’tatstic Five ticket package that gives fans a chance to experience five of the most highly anticipated games of the season for just $55.55 with games against the Wenatchee Wild, Penticton Vees, Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers and Victoria Grizzlies. For more information on these packs and all ticket info, visit the Warriors office or call (250) 769-7051.

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