The Surrey Eagles have their eyes on the prize heading into the final weekend of regular season action for the B.C. Hockey League.
With two games to play, the Eagles have the Mainland Division title in their back pocket and are in a dead heat with the defending national champion Penticton Vees and the Victoria Grizzlies for first place overall in the BCHL. The Eagles wrap up the regular season with a home-and-home set with the Express Friday in Coquitlam and Saturday at South Surrey Arena (7 p.m.).
"We're in a three-way tie for first in the league and that's something we definitely want," said Eagles coach Matt Erhart. "Our motivation for the final weekend is that more than anything. We want to go a long ways in the playoffs and having home ice would be a big help in reaching that goal."
Erhart added that while Coquitlam is mired in last place in the Mainland Division this season, the Eagles will not take the Express lightly. Not only does Surrey need the points, Erhart also doesn't want his team to fall into any sloppy play to creep into their game on the eve of the playoffs.
"We just want to stay on top of our game and keep bad habits to a minimum in these games so that we're sharp when the playoffs come," he said. "At the same time, we can't play not to get hurt because that's usually when you do get hurt. We need to get through these games healthy and then turn our attention to the playoffs with a full lineup."
Last weekend the Eagles enjoyed a light schedule with one game on tap. Surrey made the most of it by beating up on a tired Cowichan Valley Capitals team 6-2.
Tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes, the Eagles scored two goals in the middle frame and added two more in the third period to build a 5-1 lead before Cowichan scratched the score sheet a second time.
Adam Tambellini scored a pair of goals to pace the Eagles' attack while Michael Stenerson added a goal and three helpers. Jordan Klimek, Joel Gaudet and Brady Shaw rounded out the Surrey scoring.