Eagles winless on home ice
Playing against a pair of struggling hockey teams on home ice at the South Surrey Arena, the Surrey Eagles couldn’t get a win.
The B.C. Hockey League team lost 5-4 in overtime to the Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night, then rallied form two-goals down in the last five minutes to play for a 4-4 tie with the Victoria Grizzlies Sunday evening.
“I thought in certain situations in each game, we made some costly errors,” said Eagles head coach Matt Erhart after Sunday’s contest. “This weekend, it seemed every good chance we gave up ended up in the back of the next. We gave up 48 shots total in two games and gave up nine goals.”
The Smoke Eaters had just eight wins in 40 games going into Friday’s contest, and trailed 3-1 after 20 minutes. Demico Hannoun scored all three Eagles goals, each tally assisted by brothers Brandon and Tyler Morley.
Trail’s Erik Cooper tallied twice in the second period to tie the game after 40 minute, and Connor Tiechko’s second of the game had the visitors up 4-3 early in the final frame.
Alex Hagen pulled Surrey even with less then three minutes to play, but in the final minute of the first overtime period, Brandon Long scored to give Trail the victory.
“That’s the way the league is, every game is tight,” said Erhart. “You can’t take anyone lightly. And it seems teams are jacked up to play us.”
The Eagles ran into penalty trouble Sunday, playing shorthanded for seven consecutive minutes, two of which were played with the Eagles down two players.
Surrey was down 3-0 midway through Sunday’s contest against a Grizzlies team which had lost nine straight games – including a 9-2 loss Friday to the Coquitlam Express and a 13-2 setback Saturday to the Langley Rivermen. The Eagles battled back with Robert Lindores netting a pair late in the second period to cut the difference to 4-2.
Surrey enjoyed a 16-3 shots on goal advantage in the third period, and goals seven seconds apart from Lindores and Hannoun with less than five minutes to play pulled Surrey even.
Ten minutes of overtime saw the Eagles fire 11 shots at Victoria netminder Nicholas Taylor, who made several outstanding saves to keep the game tied.
“After we killed some penalties in the first period and early part of the third, I thought five-on-five we dominated the game and were unlucky not to score,” said Erhart. “Credit to the guys, they stuck with it and got two quick ones at the end. Obviously, you want two points. But we got one and at the end of the year it might mean something.”
The Eagles record is 25-10-2-6 (won-loss-tied-overtime loss) with 17 games to play. They are in second place in the Coastal Conference, tied with the Cowichan Capitals, four points behind the Powell River Kings with three games in hand.
They are in Langley tomorrow (Wednesday) night for a 7 p.m. game against the Rivermen at the Langley Events Centre.