For the third straight weekend, the Surrey Eagles came away with a split of B.C. Hockey League games.
The Eagles handed the Victoria Grizzlies their first regulation loss of the season with a 3-2 win at South Surrey Arena Friday only to fall 5-4 to the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.
The mediocre start is reflected in the standings where the Eagles sit in the middle of the BCHL's Mainland Division standings with a 3-3-0-0 record.
"We had a couple of veterans out (Sunday) and when you look at our roster, most of our players were 17 and 18-year-olds," said Eagles coach Matt Erhart. "We have a younger group of players this year and there are definitely a few growing pains. We need to have better starts in games and that might be an age thing. With younger players, being prepared is a big thing and our starts haven't been as strong as our play in the second half of games when we've felt the pressure and put on a push. Against Alberni, we got too far behind for that second half push to do us any good."
The Bulldogs scored on a pair of first-period power plays and then added a third goal early in the second to take a commanding lead. Surrey tried to battle back but the Bulldogs kept the Eagles at arm's length by scoring timely goals over the final half of the contest.
One bright spot for Surrey has been the offensive fireworks provided by the line of Michael Stenerson, Demico Hannoun and Drew Best. The trio accounted for all of the Eagles' goals against Victoria and added three points in Sunday loss.
"That line has had good success lately," Erhart said while noting it is still early in the season.
"They're young but they have a lot of skill and they play well together. They've obviously found some chemistry and early in the season, it's nice to find a line that can get you some goals every night. That line has found some chemistry and now we need the other lines to work through some things so they can work well together too."
On Friday night, that trio scored three times and amassed seven points against a high-flying Victoria team that is currently ranked eighth in Canada among junior A teams.
Surrey built a 2-0 lead midway through the second period only to have the Grizzlies answer with two goals of their own, including a tying marker on the power play just 40 seconds into the third period. Surrey weathered the storm before Hannoun netted the game winner six minutes later.
Eagles goalie Edward Dyson stopped 38 shots to earn the win.
The Eagles travel to Coquitlam Friday before returning home to host Chilliwack on Sunday at 4 p.m.
© Copyright 2013