Surrey Eagles’ forward Jeffrey Stewart (left) collides with Dominic Franco of the Langley Rivermen during Sunday’s game at South Surrey Arena.

Eagles earn tie Sunday to end busy week

More roster moves for South Surrey BC Hockey League squad

After two straight losses to the Coquitlam Express, the Surrey Eagles ended the weekend on something of a high note, managing a single point after battling the Langley Rivermen to a 3-3 tie Sunday at South Surrey Arena.

On Friday on home ice, the struggling BC Hockey League team scored first but gave up five unanswered goals to the Express en route to a 5-1 loss. In Saturday’s rematch – played at Coquitlam’s Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre – Surrey also gave up five goals, losing 5-2.

The Peninsula crew salvaged a point from the weekend, however, by tying the Rivermen in front of more than 980 fans, according to the Eagles’ official count. The game was dubbed Star Wars Night, and young fans were able to have their photos taken with characters from the popular film series; the promotion also served as a food-bank fundraiser.

And the force was with the home team during the late-afternoon tilt, as the Eagles played arguable their best game of the weekend against their Langley rivals, who are 42 points above them in the BCHL’s Mainland Division standings.

Langley’s Max Kaufman opened the scoring midway through the first period, but Surrey’s Matthew Hermary knotted the scored at 1-1 with a goal seven minutes later.

Each team scored twice in a busy middle frame – Gage Mackie and Brett Stewart lit the lamp for the Birds – and neither team managed a goal in the third period.

Likewise, two overtime periods – one at 4-on-4 and a second at 3-on-3 – solved nothing, leaving the two teams with one point apiece.

Surrey goaltender Justin LaForest was largely responsible for keeping the Rivermen offence at bay, stopping 48 of 51 shots, including nine in overtime.

LaForest was also between the pipes Saturday, stopping 33 Coquitlam shots, while Jeffrey Stewart and Donovan Ott provided the offence.

On Friday, Surrey got on the board first when Kurt Black beat Express netminder Tyger Howat 5:58 into the first period, but Coquitlam had the momentum the rest of the game, scoring twice later in the first period, once more in the second and twice in the third to win 5-1.

Surrey still sits in the basement of the Mainland Division with 22 points, with a record of 5-27-1-0 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss).

It’s been a whirlwind week for the Eagles off the ice as well, as the team made another flurry of roster moves in advance of their weekend schedule.

The team traded veteran defenceman Owen Johnson to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in exchange for fellow blue-liner Tyler Cooper; lost 17-year-old forward Ty Westgard – son of team president Chuck Westgard – to the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and signed two members of the Junior ‘B’ Kamloops Storm, Hunter Kero and Rob Johnson, to the active roster.

The biggest surprise amid the flurry of moves was the departure of Westgard, who in addition to having a family connection to the team, is a highly regarded forward who had been listed among the BCHL’s top prospects by NHL Central Scouting.

The six-foot, 180-pound forward – who was a bantam-draft selection of the Royals back in 2013 – had 21 points in 24 games with the Eagles this season.

“It has always been a dream of Ty’s to play in the WHL. We had a thought in our minds that he would be playing there at the start of next year after graduating (high school), but the opportunity came now and he felt that it was the right decision at this time,” said Chuck Westgard in a news release.

The younger Westgard is the third Eagles’ player to leave for the WHL ranks this season.

Earlier this month, captain John Wesley joined the Vancouver Giants, and defenceman Ryan Jones – originally cut from the Giants earlier in the year – returned to the team recently as well.

Regarding the team’s acquisition of Cooper and the pair of players from the Kamloops Storm, Surrey head coach Blaine Neufeld said the moves “have sped up our rebuild.”

Just Posted

White Rock breaks temperature record

B.C. city was the hottest in all of Canada

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Most Read