(ISN) – Come playoff time, BCHL players need no extra motivation. Being in the Conference Finals is enough to fire up any competitor but throw in the fact the Powell River Kings have defeated the Surrey Eagles in two of the last three seasons in playoff series and you do find there’s even more on the line.
Especially when you’re a four-year Eagles veteran and captain of the club like Tyler Morley. Being on the wrong end of two previous postseason matchups with the Kings means there is plenty to make up for.
“I’m just trying to, from past experience, show the younger guys on the team there’s so much more than just winning the Coastal (Conference),” says the 20-year-old. “There’s bragging rights that go along.”
Those have gone to the Kings in recent seasons and after Tuesday’s 3-0 shutout win for Powell River in Game 1, it looked like things might tilt there way again. But Morley and Co. gutted out a 2-1 triumph in Game 2 to bring the series back home knotted 1-1.
“It was a long day the first day,” says Morley of the ferry rides and other travel on Tuesday before Game 1. “We only had two days off (after the opening-round Game 7 win over Cowichan Valley) and we tried to get a practice in but there was too much happening too quick.”
Game 2 saw a battle-ready Eagles squad score twice in 54 seconds in the middle frame on their way to a 2-1 victory to square up the series.
“We were just trying to use our speed,” says Morley. “We know they’re big and we tried to get in on their D as much as we could. Playing them over the years, we know they try to control the tempo.”
They also count on goalie Sean Maguire to make key saves when called upon. Morley says putting more pucks on the BCHL 2nd-Team all-star, they can solve him.
“He’s one of those goalies that plays back in his net,” says Morley, adding the Kings defence usually prevent the netminder from seeing Grade-A scoring chances. “We’re trying to get 35 or 40 shots and (at South Surrey Arena) use the big ice to our advantage with our speed to the outside.”
Every Eagles player has at least one point in the playoffs and Morley says that scoring depth will have to hold up in order for his team to finally solve the Kings.