Home > Chiefs Hockey > They’ve Met Before: Chilliwack V. Surrey

They’ve Met Before: Chilliwack V. Surrey

 Photo: Garrett James

Photo: Garrett James

Game One: Chilliwack Chiefs At Surrey Eagles

South Surrey Arena, 6:45 pregame, 7:15pm faceoff on 89.5 The Hawk

– I opened the preview of the last series talking about the supposed ‘lack’ of advantage the higher seed had in the best of five format. The Chiefs are on the other side of that now, and while the goal is to win both at the SSA, all they have to do is take one to give themselves home ice advantage beginning Monday night at Prospera Centre.

– The Chiefs have won in this building twice this season, including a 4-3 overtime triumph on September 30th, which was also Josh Halpenny’s first career BCHL victory. Luke Esposito scored the winner that night. There was also a 2-1 victory on the 16th of November. Surrey did have the upper hand over the second half of the season, winning three of four to close out the regular season series.

– As you might expect, special teams will be huge in this series. There’s plenty of skill on the ice for both sides – Zielonka, Plevy, Esposito, Hansen, Tibbet, Graboski, Donohoe, Hills, Tambellini, Hannoun, Shaw, Stenerson, Klimek – the team who is more disciplined throughout will win this series. Given the history between these two franchises, you can bet the officials will let them play – If you’re going to take a penalty, make it a smart one – The Chiefs enter the matchup with the league’s best powerplay percentage in the postseason at 30.4%, after going 7 for 23 in the Prince George series. Surrey connected at a 25% clip in their four game victory over the Langley Rivermen.

– I’ve talked about the depth on the blueline for Chilliwack all season – that will be put to the test against the Eagles in this series. All seven blueliners have gotten time in the postseason. Ben Masella has been playing his best hockey to this point. David Thompson and Shay Laurent will have their hands full as the top pairing against Tambellini and Shaw. Alex Perron-Fontaine, Keifer McNaughton, Cooper Rush, Eric Roberts – the Chiefs will need everybody in this one, as the Eagles do have a lot of depth up front.

– Those ‘depth’ forwards could make a difference for Surrey in the series. For everything that Shaw, Hannoun, and Tambellini have done – It’s Colton Mackie, Drew Best, and Brett Mulcahy that have given the Chiefs troubles at times. I’m interested to see which group of foot soldiers wins the battle in this series. Tanner Cochrane, Brodyn Nielsen, Tanner Burns, and Jaret Babych will have to be at their best.

– The Gillam/Michael Santaguida matchup in goal will be terrific. Both have proven they can win games by themselves.

Too close to call, this series. I’ll say Chiefs In Five because I certainly believe they can win, but the Eagles were the best team over the last half of the season.

Surrey has a slight edge up front. The Chiefs are stronger on the back-end. The goaltending matchup is even. Special teams are strong on both sides.

Who’s ready for another five-game-in-six-day stretch?

I am.

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Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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