Thursday, March 24, 2011
PREVIEW GAME 5: Eagles vs. Kings
SERIES: Steven Schmidt scored his first goal of the post season 4:52 in to the third overtime to give the Kings a 2-1 game four win. That was the first goal since 17:45 of the first period. Both teams combined for 127 shots in six periods. Mike Garteig stopped 62 of 63 shots in the win. Karel St Laurent also made 62 saves on 64 shots.
The Kings can clinch their their 3rd consecutive Cliff McNabb trophy with a win at home in game five tonight.
Kings- Powell River carried their regular season success in Surrey to the playoffs with two one goal victories in games three and four. The latter was a tight affair as both teams knew what was at stake in game four, dubbed as a swing game and it came down to the last shot.
Game four would of turned the series in two opposite directions. If the Eagles won game 4 the series would of been split, making for a very interesting best of three scenario in games five through seven. Emphasizing how tight the series has been, with the exception of game one, every game has been decided by a single goal.
However the Kings gave themselves some breathing room and now an opportunity to end a series in five games and on home ice. The power-play was a contributing factor in both games for Powell River.
In the first two games of the series the power-play was a thorn in the Kings side. Powell River was a combined 0-10 in games one and two. However, the man advantage turned around scoring two goals in game three and one more in game four. In both those games combined the Kings went 3-9 on the power-play.
Tonight comes down to seizing a chance to put away an opponent on your first chance and not giving Surrey any momentum to come back in the series.
Eagles- The Eagles for the first time in the playoffs are facing elimination. Surrey swept through Coquitlam in round one and only trailed one game to none to Langley in round two.
Surrey can very well argue they could be in Powell River's position in game five. The Eagles have lost all four games by one goal, considering game one was sealed with an empty net and Surrey has only been out scored 10-7. Every game has been close and the Eagles simply haven't found a way to break through yet.
A few observers have said the Eagles have ran into injuries and have been using a smaller then usual line-up that maybe is starting to catch up with them. I don't read into that too much as the Eagles have given the Kings everything they can handle and more. Yes their top players have been playing quite a bit but so too have the Kings.
The Eagles offense has dried up in this series and that in turns lies the problem. Coming into the conference finals the Eagles scored 43 goals in their previous 10 games. The Eagles were averaging just over four goals a game through two rounds. In this series against Powell River, Surrey has scored only seven goals in four games and that's an average of 1.75 goals a game. The top players on the Eagles will need to find a way to get more rubber past Mike Garteig.
WHO'S HOT- Chad Niddery now has goals in back to back games for the Kings and eight in the playoffs. Craig Dalrymple has three assists in two games. Steven Schmidt sure picked a good time to score his first in the post season.
Richard Vanderhoek was kept off the score sheet for the first time in the series in game four. Bradley McGowan was pointless as well and has been held pointless in two straight games.
STAT PACK- The Kings dating back to the regular season won four out of five games in Surrey. Their only blemish was a 1-1 tie in November.
PUCK DROP: Pre-game show at 6:45pm and play-by-play at 7pm on Sun FM