Eagles one game away from elimination
The Surrey Eagles' season has come down to a single game.
The South Surrey squad is one game away from playoff elimination after dropping the last two games of their BC Hockey League Coastal Conference final on home ice to the Powell River Kings.
The Eagles, who split the first two games in Powell River – they won Game 2 by a 2-1 score Wednesday – dropped Games 3 and 4 at South Surrey Arena on the weekend, losing Friday 4-3 and Saturday 2-1 in overtime. They trail the series 3-1; Game 5 was played Monday night in Powell River after press deadline.
Surrey had the chance to even the series 2-2 Saturday, after forward Sean McGovern scored with just 3:03 left in the third period, tying the game 1-1, and sending it into overtime. But the extra period ended quickly, as Kings' Cohen Adair scored the game-winner just 1:12 into the OT frame.
J.P. Villeneuve scored Powell River's first goal of the game, at the 2:09 mark of the first period.
Powell River netminder Sean Maguire was the headliner for the visiting squad, turning away 48 Eagles' shots. His counterpart in the Surrey net, Andrew Hunt, made 34 saves.
A day earlier, the Eagles nearly pulled off a successful comeback after falling behind 4-0 after just 20 minutes. Powell River jumped all over the Eagles in the first period, scoring four goals in a six-minute span. Daniel Schuler had two, and Chris Williams and Matt Scarth also scored.
In the second period, Steve Koshey – on the power play – replied for Surrey, and the Eagles tacked on two more in the third period, from leading playoff-scorer Devon Toews – who also had an assist – and captain Tyler Morley, but they could not get the equalizer before time expired.
Hunt stopped 16 of 20 shots in the first period, and was pulled in favour of Conor Barrie for the final 40 minutes. Barrie, seeing his first action of the playoffs, stopped all 27 shots he faced.
In Game 2 Wednesday, the Eagles, who a day earlier were shut out 3-0 in the series opener, broke the goose egg near the end of the second period, when Brandon Tanev – who scored the series-clinching overtime goal in Round 1 against Cowichan – and Charles Orzetti scored less than a minute apart to give the visitors a 2-0 lead heading into the third period.
In the third, Powell River drew to within one goal when Evan Richardson made it 2-1, with Scarth and Brendon MacDonald drawing assists.
Surrey's Hunt stopped 34 Powell River shots on net.
Should the series end in with a Kings' victory, it would continue an unsettling trend for the South Surrey squad, as Powell River has been a thorn in the team's side for the last few years.
The Kings beat Surrey in playoff rounds last season and in 2008/09, and and this year a late push in the final two weeks of the regular season – which included two wins over Surrey – gave them top spot in the Coastal Conference, overtaking the Eagles, who finished second.
If Game 6 is necessary, it will be played at South Surrey Arena tonight (Tuesday).