The Surrey Eagles made the most of a weekend getaway to Vancouver Island by collecting four points in two outings against B.C. Hockey League opponents.
The defending BCHL champion Eagles prevailed 7-5 over the Bulldogs in a wild night in Port Alberni Saturday before topping the Capitals 3-2 in overtime in Cowichan Sunday.
“We’re happy with the way things turned out,” said Eagles coach Peter Schaefer. “There was a little shootout in Alberni and then we played a little better with our systems in the second game. Getting four points on the road is a good result, especially with the short turnaround playing a game at seven Saturday and the next game Sunday at two. Cowichan is off to a hot start so we are quite happy with the outcome.”
Schaefer and the rest of the Eagles coaches endured a roller-coaster evening in Port Alberni Saturday night as Surrey exhibited some bipolar tendencies before pulling out the win over the Bulldogs. The Eagles were outstanding in the first period in building a 3-0 lead only to lose their groove in the middle frame, allowing Alberni to roar back and tie the game 4-4.
The first-period Eagles were back on the ice for the final period, scoring three goals in the first two minutes to regain control of the evening.
Surrey special teams were as erratic as the rest of the club, scoring on four power-play chances, but surrendering three goals while playing shorthanded.
“It was just one of those games,” Schaefer said. “We got that quick 3-0 lead and that was probably the worst thing that could happen. With a big lead the guys sat back and let Alberni back in the game and then we had to get going again. That’s junior hockey though and every night it’s a different style of game.”
Matt Dawson led the Birds with two goals while solo markers came from Phil Johansson, Brett Mulcahy, Michael Roberts, Nicolas Pierog and Mitchell Fyffe.
Sixteen hours later the Eagles were back on the ice where they wrapped up their Island tour in Cowichan. Special teams once again determined the outcome of the game, but this time the Surrey penalty killing units saved the day. The Eagles killed off seven of eight penalties — including a pair of five-on-threes — before staging a third-period comeback to force overtime.
“If you do the math, there was probably one period of playing shorthanded,” Schaefer said. “Even with the eight power plays, the shots for the game were close (37-31 in Cowichan’s favour) so that says a lot about how well we played.”
Jonah Renouf applied the dagger to the Capitals’ hopes, scoring unassisted with eight minutes remaining in the third to knot the score at 2-2. Renouf then finished Cowichan off with a second unassisted tally on the Eagles’ only shot of overtime.
Braedan Russell scored the other Surrey goal.
The Eagles are back in action this weekend with a home-and-home set with the Vernon Vipers. The Eagles host the Vipers Friday at South Surrey Arena (7 p.m. start) before heading to the Okanagan for a return engagement in Vernon Saturday.
© Copyright 2013