Eagles lead increases
A split of two games last week allowed the Surrey Eagles to extend their lead atop the Mainland Division of the BC Hockey League.
The Eagles travelled north to Prince George Thursday night, and fell 4-1 to the Prince George Spruce Kings, but recovered Saturday for a 5-3 win over the Langley Rivermen at the South Surrey Arena.
Two of four points is not usually a productive weekend for Surrey, now with a 28-12-2-3 (won-loss-tied-overtime loss) record for 61 points. But with the second-place Chilliwack Chiefs losing twice in the Okanagan, the Eagles now have a five-point cushion at the three-quarter mark of the season.
Penalties were a huge factor in favor of the Spruce Kings on Thursday, as Prince George converted two of eight power play chances. The Eagles had only four opportunities with the extra man, failing to score.
Lyndon Martell and Chad Stalley netted goals 84 seconds apart midway through the first period to five the Spruce Kings a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Brady Shaw replied for the Eagles early in the second period, cutting the difference to a goal by the second intermission.
Shayne Morrisey with an insurance goal and Liam Blackburn while on the power play extended the Prince George lead to three goals in the third period.
Michael Santaguida was in goal for the Eagles, making 34 saves. Surrey native Kirk Thompson stopped 31 of 32 shots in the Spruce Kings goal, earning the game’s first star honour.
While battling from behind for most of Thursday’s game, the Eagles had the edge for the majority of Saturday’s contest.
Matt Ustaski game the Rivermen a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, an advantage that lasted just 18 seconds until Nicolas Pierog tied the game for Surrey.
Shaw assisted on a goal from Michael Stenerson to put the Eagles on top before the first intermission, then scored himself midway through the second frame for a 3-1 Eagles lead.
Langley pulled even with two goals six minutes apart in the last half of the period, but the Eagles went back up 4-3 on an unassisted effort from Brett Mulcahy with 90 second left in the the second.
Trevor Cameron added an insurance goal for the home team with less than two minutes remaining in the game, while Santaguida made 13 of his 30 saves in the final period to keep Surrey in front.
Both teams were scoreless on the power play, with the Eagles having three chances to Langley’s two.
The Eagles take to the ice three times next weekend, hosting the Spruce Kings Friday night at 7 p.m. in South Surrey, then visit the Coquitlam Express Saturday evening. They will close out the long weekend on Family Day next Monday, hosting the Rivermen at 2 p.m.