Eagles beat a pair of Kings on home ice

The Surrey Eagles are headed into the holidays on a high, after a weekend in which their pair of aces beat a pair of Kings – of the Prince George Spruce and Powell River varieties.

Led by a four-goal outburst from Cameron Sinclair, the Eagles knocked off the Spruce Kings 6-3 Friday, and followed that with a 4-1 win over Powell River in which leading scorer Scott Knowles had a goal and three assists.

“Well, we can’t complain,” Eagles head coach Shane Kuss said.

“It’s nice to finish with two victories before the (Christmas) break. We accomplished what we wanted to this month, with the exception of one hiccup.”

The “hiccup” was a 6-3 loss to the Langley Chiefs last Wednesday. Surrey won its other five games – most in convincing fashion.

In addition to Sinclair’s four-goal Friday – three of which came in a row, during a five-goal third period – he added three assists in Saturday’s win.

Adam Basford had three assists Friday, and new forward Travis Gorman – formerly of the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay Ice – added two assists.

Offensive exploits of Sinclair, Knowles and company aside, Kuss was equally pleased with his team’s checking forwards – namely Ryan Pajimola, Scott Brownlee and Matt Redkewich.

With the Eagles trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes against Prince George, it was a Pajimola fight with Peter Funnell that woke the Eagles up. The five-goal barrage began 22 seconds after the scrap, when Brownlee found the back of the net.

“Cam really led the charge Friday, but those (checking forwards) don’t get nearly enough credit for everything they do,” Kuss said.

“They’ve been very good for us lately on the penalty kill, and in shutting down the other team’s top players.

“We can always rely on those guys for a big hit or a fight – which is just as important as the guys who’ve been scoring all the goals.”

Justin Mulholland was between the pipes in both games for the Eagles, stopping 29 of 32 shots Friday, and 23 of 24 Saturday.

Surrey’s record heading into the two-week holiday break is 22-14-0-2, good for second place in the BC Hockey League’s Coastal Conference.

Despite the weekend sweep, however, they didn’t gain much ground in the standings, as the third-place Langley Chiefs won all three of their games last week, and the first-place Nanaimo Clippers defeated Quesnel 7-0 on Friday. The red-hot Chiefs are just one point back of the Eagles for second – with a game in hand – while the Clippers are 11 points clear in first place.

“The division is just so tight this year that you’ve got to be at your best every single night,” Kuss said.

“Hopefully we don’t (lose momentum) over the holidays, because we’ll need to keep winning.”

The Eagles will end a two-week break from league play on Friday, Dec. 28 when they host the Quesnel Millionaires at 7 p.m. at the South Surrey Arena.

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