Monday, March 21, 2011
GAME 3 PREVIEW: Kings vs. Eagles
SERIES: The Eagles bounced back from a game one defeat to shock the Kings in overtime in game two. Dan Gentzler was the hero just forty seconds into the first overtime period. The Eagles were badly out shot 41-17, but Karel St. Laurent turned in a solid performance between the pipes to pick up the win.
This series is eerily similar to how the first two games played out in round two against the Grizzlies. Victoria took game two in overtime and went on to take a 3-1 series lead. We all know how that finished but the Kings can't afford to let that happen again.
Kings- Powell River goes on the road for games three and four in the Conference Final. The Kings were very good in Surrey this season winning two out of three and taking five out of a possible six points. The Kings are 1-2 in the post season away from Hap Parker Arena, with one of those being an overtime loss.
Powell River is coming off a frustrating loss to the Eagles in game two. The team peppered the Eagles goal all night, firing 41 pucks on net, but only got one goal to show for it. However, the issue wasn't the volume of shots, it was the quality of the shots on St. Laurent. The coaches are emphasizing shot selection going into tonight's game. Simply put... make every shot count. The team hasn't made it diffitcult enough for the Ealges goaltender.
Also the power-play will need a jump start in game three. With the league going to a two referee system you will see more power-plays, and as of now, the Kings haven't capitalized on their chances. A perfect example was late in game two, tied at one, the Kings had a full two minutes in the Surrey zone but were unable to cash in. The Kings are 0-10 so far in the first two games combined.
Eagles- Surrey is coming off a big win in game two. Playing with only 10 forwards and under pressure for most of the night, the Eagles erased a first period deficit and won in overtime. Surrey essentially played with two and a half lines for the majority of the game, especially late when overtime was looming. One wonders if this team can sustain their pace of play as the series continues.
If you look at the series on paper, you would assume the Eagles have the advantage with the next two games in their own barn. However, the Eagles are 3-2 on home ice, going 1-2 in round two against Langley. Furthermore, the Eagles only mustered 1 point out of a possible 6 versus the Kings in three games at the South Surrey Arena in the regular season. How much weight does that hold? We will find out tonight.
As much as I talk about the struggles of the Kings power-play I should also credit the Eagles penalty-kill. It has been almost unbeatable this playoffs. Coming into tonight the Eagles have the best PK in the BCHL at 93.65 %. Through 11 games in the playoffs the Eagles have only surrendered four power-play goals against. The key will be which team can break through on the power-play tonight.
WHO'S HOT- Matt Garbowsky now has goals in back to back games after being held scoreless in seven games against Victoria. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the Kings sniper. Chad Niddery is stepping up in his final post season in the BCHL. The twenty year old picked up one more point on Saturday and now has 12 points in nine games.
Bradley McGowan scored for the first time in three games in game two. The regular season and playoff leading scorer for Surrey hadn't scored since game three in Langley. The depth players have been clutch for the Eagles of late. The Eagles have four players with ten or more points and 11 with five or more.
STAT PACK: The Kings on the road in the playoffs are 1-2. Powell River has been out scored 8-7 in three road games (1-2 OT, 2-5, 4-1).
PUCK DROP: Pre-game show is at 6:45pm and puck drop is 7:00pm.