The Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen played each other to a standstill last weekend with each team posting a win in a home-and-home set of B.C. Hockey League games.
Surrey hosted the Rivermen at South Surrey Arena Friday where they skated to a 5-3 win. The following night in Langley it was the Rivermen's turn to shine as they dispatched the Birds 6-5 in a high-scoring affair.
The results leave Surrey (8-6-0-1) in fourth place in the BCHL's Mainland Division, one point up on cellar-dwelling Langley (7-7-0-2).
Eagles coach Matt Erhart said a seemingly unending string of weekend splits has become the norm for Mainland teams.
"Our division is really good this year," he said. "Everyone in the division is at or over .500 while on the Island, three of the five teams have losing records. When teams from our division play other teams, eight out of 10 times our division is winning. But within our division, when we play each other there's a lot of splits. The teams are all really close and we just take turns beating each other."
The Eagles and Rivermen are proof of that assessment. On Friday night, the Eagles built a 4-0 lead early in the third period only to have the Rivermen battle back to close to within a goal before Mason Blacklock's empty netter sealed the deal for Surrey.
Brady Shaw scored twice for Surrey while Michael Stenerson and Colton Mackie each tallied once.
"We got some early pressure and everything rolled from there," Erhart said. "We scored a goal in the first and a goal in the second and then we were playing with a lead which gives everybody confidence. We went up 4-0 in the third and they popped a couple to make it interesting at the end. We played a pretty good game overall aside from a couple of bounces."
That confidence was hard to find one night later in Langley where the Rivermen jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead in the first period.
The Eagles rallied with three second period markers to pull into a 4-4 tie only to have the Rivermen score late in the middle frame to escape to the intermission up 5-4.
The first 19 minutes of the third period were relatively uneventful. The final minute made up for it as first Langley scored into an empty net with 43 seconds remaining to make it 6-4 only to have Surrey's Blacklock score his second of the evening to add some tension to the final 10 seconds of play.
Jordan Klimek, Demico Hannoun and Trevor Cameron also scored for Surrey.
"For the first 20 minutes we weren't very good and we got ourselves in a hole down 3-1," Erhart said. "We came back with a vengeance in the second and made it 4-4 but then they got the backbreaker just before the intermission to make it 4-4. We had a good push in the third period but when you fall behind on the road, it's harder to come back than it is at home."
The Eagles play their first stretch of three games in three nights this week. Surrey visits Langley again on Thursday night before heading to Merritt Friday.
The Eagles are back at South Surrey Arena Saturday night when they host the Mainland Division leading Prince George Spruce Kings at 7 p.m.
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