Surrey Eagles return to nest after a bumpy start

SURREY  — After coming home from the BCHL Showcase with two defeats, the Surrey Eagles are looking forward to turning their season around on Friday (Sept. 26) in their home-opener against Chilliwack Chiefs.

Coach Blaine Neufeld’s first game in charge of the team didn’t go as planned after the Eagles were thumped 11-2 last Friday (Sept. 19) by Penticton.

Despite being outshot 21-6, the Eagles started the game in decent shape, keeping pace with this year’s potential BCHL champions after the first period ended 2-2.

However, the following two periods were one-sided as the Vees scored nine more goals without an Eagles’ response.

"It was a bit of an eye-opener come last Friday when we played Penticton, a very strong and skilful team," Neufeld said.

"We kind of learned that you cannot let up at any moment in the BCHL."

Surrey’s second game, against Salmon Arm, saw the Eagles let a three-goal lead slip, losing 4-3 in overtime to the Silverbacks on Sunday (Sept. 21).

Neufeld said that it was good to see the team bounce back after what happened against Penticton.

"The positive part is that it was evident we have very strong character in our (dressing) room," the coach added.

The Eagles scored all their goals in the first period, with two coming from 16-year-old rookie Ty Westgard.

"He’s a very special offensive player and he’s going to get a lot of attention around the league from other opponents, but also schools will be looking at him," said Neufeld.

This Friday, the Eagles are expecting a sell-out crowd at South Surrey Arena and the head coach said there might be "standing room" for anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of the game.

The team will travel to Chilliwack on Saturday (Sept. 27) to play the Chiefs before returning home to face the Prince George Spruce Kings the following day.

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