Though provincial health-orders have kept them from playing exhibition games against their fellow BC Hockey League teams of late, the Surrey Eagles have come up with an all-star alternative.
This Friday (Dec. 4), the junior ‘A’ squad will host the 2020 Eagles All-Star Challenge, which will see the team split into two groups – one captained by Kieran O’Hearn and another by Jimmy Darby – and square off in a skills competition.
Events are to include fastest skater, hardest shot, puck-control relay, accuracy shooting, goalie-save streak and a breakaway challenge, among others. Following the skill events, a 3-on-3 mini game will be held.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and will be broadcast on BCHL TV. To subscribe to the service, visit https://bchl.ca/game-broadcasts. A free audio broadcast, with Eagles play-by-play voice Cole Marton, will also be available.
According to a notice on the Eagles’ website, the challenge was created in order to “give our players some competition to look forward to, but also bring exciting hockey content to our fans and supporters.”
Though the BCHL regular season hasn’t yet started – and its original start date of early December is currently in flux due to the public-health order that has suspended play – the Eagles had played a handful of preseason games against their Lower Mainland cohort teams in Langley, Chilliwack and Coquitlam.
Those preseason tilts were suspended Nov. 8.
“This is something that came together rather quickly. We had been toying with this idea for some time before we realized just how golden this opportunity could be,” noted Eagles’ assistant general manager Charlie Black.
“With no games and endless practices, finding motivation is key for all of us, not just players. This All-Star Challenge gives us that perfect combo of competition, showmanship, and just pure fun.
“In a year unlike any other, this event gives us a glimmer of excitement during uncertain times. We are also eager to see what this event could be in the future, when we are able to have fans with us in the rink again.”