The Salt Lake Golden Eagles, who pass the midway point of their home season tonight in the Delta Center against San Diego, hope a nine-day holiday layoff won't hurt the winning ways they took into Christmas. The Eagles won five of six games entering the holiday period but haven't played since Dec. 20.

The Gulls, 17-10-5, have won their last three, are 7-5-3 on the road and are just four points behind Pacific Division leader Las Vegas. The Eagles are 11-19-2, 8-11-1 at home, have won their last two games and are 5-5 in their last 10.Tonight's is the Eagles' 21st home game in a 41-game home schedule.

San Diego is also the Eagles' guest for Friday night's New Year's Eve Extravaganza, which drew 11,017 last year.

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In their last four games, the Eagles have held opponents to three or fewer goals, and goalie Jamie McLennan is 3-0 in his last three starts with a 1.66 goals-against average for that period. Right wing Sandy Smith has a five-game point streak. Defenseman Marc Laforge, acquired by the New York Islanders for Eagle Brent Grieve, contributed an assist in his first game with the Eagles. Larry DePalma, another Islander acquisition to bolster the Eagles, has produced five assists in the seven games he's played.

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