It was a fantastic Friday night game for the Surrey Eagles on Dec. 30.
The squad, who are second in the in the BC Hockey League’s Coastal Conference, beat the first-place Nanaimo Clippers 6-2 on home ice.
Ewan Rennie opened the scoring for the Eagles, who scored three goals in the first period and three in the second, with two from Aaron Schwartz in the second.
Schwartz was named first star of the game.
Jacob Bonkowski, with a goal and an assist, was named second star, and Tate Taylor, with a first-period goal and an assist, was named third star.
“The kids did great,” said head coach Cam Keith Monday.
While the Nanaimo Clippers are still six points ahead in the Coastal Conference standings, the Eagles now have a game in hand.
“It was important to try to keep pace with them – we’re still within grasp of that first spot in the Coastal Conference,” he said.
With such a strong hometown crowd and home ice advantage, Keith is happy with how well the Eagles have played at home this season, but notes they play well at away rinks as well.
“We feel confident that we can win in (Nanaimo’s) rink or at least not feel they have a big advantage – psychologically that’s really important going into playoffs.”
If you look at the current standings and project for potential (playoff) matchups, “We would play them in the third round and they are on home ice,” if the standings remain the same, he said.
While the Eagles and Clippers are the top two Coastal Conference teams in the BCHL, the team still must rise to the challenge every game.
They play two home games this weekend, the first against the Langley Rivermen at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, and against the Coquitlam Express at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan 8 at the Nest (South Surrey Arena, 2199 148th St., Surrey).
“The game against Coquitlam Sunday is a really big game for us – they’re by no means a team that can’t reach us in the standings and they have a very competitive team as well – it’s another potential playoff matchup,” Keith said.
“For whatever reason, you play 54 games (and) it always comes down to one or two points for those standings – (there’s a) lot more emphasis on every game the second half of the year.”
The Eagles next play the Clippers on Friday, Jan. 13.
For tickets and info, visit surreyeagles.ca