Eagles flying high in first place

Dan O’Keefe of the Surrey Eagles moves the puck up ice past Matt Ustaski of the Langley Rivermen during Monday’s BCHL game in the South Surrey Arena. - GARRETT JAMES / CONTRIBUTOR
Dan O’Keefe of the Surrey Eagles moves the puck up ice past Matt Ustaski of the Langley Rivermen during Monday’s BCHL game in the South Surrey Arena.

In the race for first place in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland Division, the Surrey Eagles have put some serious distance between themselves and the Chilliwack Chiefs.

What was a three-point edge for the Eagles a week ago has now grown to eight, with both the Chiefs and Surrey having just eight games to play.

The Eagles played three times last week, earning five of a possible six points. Wrapped around a 3-2 overtime loss to the Coquitlam Express on the road Saturday night, Surrey posted wins over the Prince George Spruce Kings (5-2) Friday night and the Langley Rivermen (4-1) Sunday afternoon. Both victories came at the South Surrey Arena.

The near-perfect weekend left the Eagles with a 30-12-2-4 (won-lost-tied-overtime loss) record.

The Rivermen were dominated by the home team Monday, falling behind 1-0 and 2-0 at the period breaks, and were down 4-0 before a goal with seven minutes to go ended the shutout bid of Michael Santaguida.

Brady Shaw scored twice for the Eagles, with Drew Best and Kevan Kilistoff adding power play goals to complete the scoring. Best and Adam Tambellini drew a pair of assists each.

The weekend began with Shaw putting up three points in the win over Prince George. The 20-year-old from Ottawa assisted on Tambellini’s power play goal in the first period which broke a 1-1 tie, then drew an assist on a shorthanded effort from Brett Mulcahy. He netted his goal with one second remaining in the game, scoring into an empty net.

Tommy Stipancik, also while shorthanded, and Joel Gaudet were the other Eagles goal scorers.

Saturday in Coquitlam, the Eagles couldn’t hold on to the 2-0 lead they took into the third period. Brady Shaw in the first period and Colton Mackie with a shorthanded goal in the second gave the Eagles a two-goal cushion.

Coquitlam scored twice in a 48-second span early in the third period to force overtime, and got the winner in the second minute of the second overtime period.

The Eagles will play twice next weekend, hosting the Nanaimo Clippers Friday night at 7 p.m. in the South Surrey Arena, before traveling to Chilliwack to play the Chiefs Saturday evening.

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