The South Surrey, British Columbia Arena came alive when the Surrey Eagle's faced off against the Prince George Spruce King's in a scheduled Thursday game at the South Surrey Arena.
Fifty years lifted off my shoulders as once again I picked up my youthful passion and waited for the whistle to sound as puck dropped.
From the singing of the Canadian Anthem by Ava Carich, to the ceremonial drop of the puck at center ice, the slow burn of excitment welled up in anticipation of action at first whistle. Once again I felt like I was on an outdoor prarie hockey rink, with friends, neigbours and family. This time it was not 30 degrees below zero. It was South Surrey Arena and comfortably indoors.
Local Eagle supporters were about five hundred strong with a liberal sprinkling of Spurce King diehards ready for the raucous but friendly heckling. The Eagles finally prevailed in the end with a 2-1 win in a double overtime that had everyone standing. The story here though is only the begining.
There shouldn’t be any doubt in the minds of anyone; the fans in the arena do contribute to the Eagle's success. Home-ice advantage is a real thing in hockey and we – the fans – contribute to the wins. The Surrey Eagles presently are battling to better their BCHL 5-2-0-1 home-ice record this season in the South Surrey Arena and would love your support.
Some of these players will go on to the college level, some that will play in the Western Hockey League, and maybe even a small number who will one day get a chance in the NHL, dream of the big stage. This hocky is as exciting as any NHL game because it is our team on the ice. But above all they want to play in front of fans who want them in the community. So it was time that I picked up my game, and attended my community team.
All these kids want to play in front of a packed building. None of them grow up dreaming of playing a high-level of hockey in front of no one. I am sure they all dream of the Montreal Forum or the building being sold out and being in that key moment. That’s every player’s hockey dream.
While the Surrey Arena can’t compare to one of the most storied NHL arenas like the Montreal Forum, hockey fans in Surrey can give the Eagles a taste of it.
Yes, we all lead busy lives. We take time to travel our kids across the region for minor hockey games of their own, for dance classes, for appointments and more. But these junior Eagles games are more than just a hockey game. It’s a community event. It’s a place to see your neighbours. It’s a place to grow together as strong and united. These hockey games are just as much about us, as they are about what is happening on the ice.
This year’s Eagle's team look's pretty good. It is in a rebuilding stage that is as exciting and exhillerating as any senior or pro team. I challenge everyone to pack the arena. Not only that. But I challenge you to make the arena loud. It’s okay to be loud at the game. It’s okay to be a little aggressive and boo the other team. This is our arena, and it’s time other BCHL teams become aware of coming to the South Surrey Arena
. The Eagles will feed off that energy, while the visiting team will sink under the pressure.
The fans can play just as much of a role in how the Eagles do in the coming season as the team on the ice does.
Do what you can to support our team. Take in the Eagles coming games. Come proud. Come loud. Turn these games into one of your regular community events and celebrate the team’s success with friends, family, and neighbours.
Consider being a volunteer and contributing to your community and neighbourhood - Soitsfun!
This community needs the team as much as the team needs the community.