New goalie nets a shutout

Surrey Eagles goalie Tommy Tartaglione is run over by Luke Betts of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and teammate Ilan Cumberbirch during Sunday’s BCHL game. - BRIAN GIEBELHAUS / BLACK PRESS
Surrey Eagles goalie Tommy Tartaglione is run over by Luke Betts of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and teammate Ilan Cumberbirch during Sunday’s BCHL game.

Surrey Eagles’ new netminder Tommy Tartaglione made a great first impression with his new club Sunday at South Surrey Arena, stopping all 38 shots he faced to guide the home team to a 6-0 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Tartaglione was picked up at the trade deadline, having recently been released by the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars.

The win improved the second-place Eagles’ record to 27-17-1-2 (won-lost-tied-overtime loss), putting them three points clear of the Burnaby Express in the B.C. Hockey League’s Coastal Conference. They also inched to within seven points of the slumping Nanaimo Clippers, who’ve lost six of the past eight games.

More importantly, it also put the Birds back on the winning track after a 7-3 drubbing Saturday night at the hands of the visiting Cowichan Valley Capitals.

“I guess we were due for a bit of a stinker,” Eagles coach Shane Kuss said of Saturday’s loss. “That game was a bit of a step back for us. We just didn’t come prepared to win that game, but it was great to see our guys respond on Sunday.”

Travis Gorman led the way Sunday with a goal and two assists for the Eagles, while Adam Basford chipped in with two goals. Cameron Sinclair, John Bokla and Max Grassi also found the back of the net.

Considering that Salmon Arm has the third-best record in the BCHL, the win was something of a statement game for Surrey, while also providing a bit of redemption.

The last time the two squads faced each other, way back on Sept. 29 at Salmon Arm’s Sunwave Centre, the Eagles were waxed 11-3.

“They kind of took it to us when we played them last time in their rink, so it was nice to be able to return the favour a little bit,” Kuss said.

Against Cowichan, the Eagles fell behind 1-0 in the opening two minutes, and the Caps added another goal just 26 seconds in the second period. Surrey battled back to tie the game 2-2, however, after a pair shorthanded goals from Ryan Pajimola – his 20th of the year, a career high – and Matt Redkwich.

The rest of the game belonged to the visitors, though, as Cowichan outscored Surrey 5-1 the rest of the way.

Defenceman Ryan Adams, on the power-play, had the Eagles’ final tally.

BLUE LINES: The Eagles hit the ice just once this weekend, taking on the Langley Chiefs Friday at South Surrey Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Of the team’s final 13 games, just five are on the road.

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