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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Back On Road For First Matchup Against Eagles

PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees (14-3-1-0) return to the road for a pair of games away from home as they face-off against the Mainland Division’s Surrey Eagles (6-12-0-1) on Friday night at the South Surrey Arena.

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2019/20 REGULAR SEASON VS. SURREY

Friday, November 1st @ South Surrey Arena (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, February 5th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:30 PM)

The Vees enter Friday night’s matchup after earning their third straight victory in a 4-1 win over the Merritt Centennials on Sunday afternoon at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Tyler Ho tallied his first goal as Vee while Liam Malmquist, Evan McIntyre and Danny Weight all found the back of the net in the victory. Yaniv Perets stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced in the Vees crease in his 8th win of the season in between the pipes.

Penticton and Surrey played a total of three games last season, with one coming at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, that saw the Vees come away with victories in all of those contests. A 4-1 win at the Showcase in September was followed by a 6-1 win on home ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre in November. The Vees finished off the season series sweep with a 4-1 win at the South Surrey Arena one week later.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Jay O’Brien (9-18-27)

Danny Weight (9-11-20)

Lukas Sillinger (6-13-19)

David Silye (5-13-18)

Colton Kalezic (7-7-14)

Scoring from the defence has been a big key to the Vees current three-game winning streak and Conner Hutchison has contributed to that total well over the last four games. The Vermont University commit comes into Friday night’s contest riding a four-game point streak, amassing five assists over that span. The Hicksville, New York native is tied for 9th in the league amongst defencemen with his 11 assists and ranks in a tie for 8th in overall scoring amongst all BCHL blue liners.

Goals in back-to-back games sees Vees defenseman Evan McIntyre leading the Penticton blue line in tallies. The Ohio State University commit currently sits in a tie for 3rd in the BCHL with his 4 goals on the season from the back end while his 10 points ranks in a tie for 17th in defensive scoring. Through the same amount of games as a season ago (18), the Oakville, Ontario native has surpassed his goals, assists and points totals.

The Vees have seen success over the past few seasons against the Eagles, entering Friday night’s affair with wins in each of their last five games against Surrey. Penticton has outscored Surrey by a 26-7 margin over the course of those five games, including surrendering just a goal in four of those five meetings. A helping hand in those victories has been special teams with the Vees power play operating at 29.6% (8-for-27) in the last five meetings against the Eagles while the penalty kill is 20-for-21 over those matchups, registering at 95.6%.

The Surrey Eagles come into Friday night’s game after a 6-3 loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday afternoon at the Chilliwack Coliseum. Kenny Riddett scored shorthanded to open the scoring in the game while Carter King and Cristophe Tellier added markers for the Eagles in the defeat. Thomas Scarfone started the game, turning aside 12 of the 15 shots he faced in his 8th loss of the season before Cal Schell relieved him, stopping 19 of the 22 shots thrown his way.

Eagles Leading Scorers:

Holden Katzalay (9-10-19)

Cristophe Tellier (8-9-17)

Hudson Schandor (8-8-16)

Brandon Santa Juana (3-9-12)

Carter King (4-4-8)

The Eagles are a much different team than a season ago, with a new Head Coach in Cam Keith and just two players returning from last year’s squad. Forwards Brandon Santa Juana and Holden Katzalay are the only holdovers from a season ago but Keith and his staff added plenty of experience up front in the likes in newly named captain and former Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Hudson Schandor, former Wenatchee Wild forward Cristophe Tellier and former Trail Smoke Eaters defenders Jimmy Darby and Kieran O’Hearn.

After 30 points in his rookie season with the Wild during the 2018/19 campaign, forward Cristophe Tellier has brought plenty more offence in his sophomore season. The Quinnipiac University commit has 17 points in 19 games this season, good for second in team scoring and has amassed points in four of his last five games. The Sherbrooke, Quebec native has tallied three goals and two assists for five points over that span.

Surrey recently made changes to their roster, trading captain Cody Schiavon to the Trail Smoke Eaters and saw a change as Hudson Schandor will don the ‘C’ for the remainder of the season. The North Vancouver, BC product has 110 games of experience in the BCHL under his belt, including 91 with the Silverbacks from the past two seasons before coming to Surrey. Schandor also has registered points in four of his last five games, scoring four goals and three assists for seven points in that span, including his first career BCHL hat trick in mid-October against the Powell River Kings.

The Vees and Eagles are set to drop the puck at 7:00 PM for the first of their two-game season series from the South Surrey Arena. The game will be broadcast live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com with the pre-game show airing at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.