The Surrey Eagles broke out of their January funk with a hard-fought 5-4 overtime win over the league-leading Langley Rivermen in B.C. Hockey League action at South Surrey Arena Sunday.
The win was just the second in seven games in the month of January for the Eagles and snapped a five-game winlessstreak. It also ended a six-game run of futility for the defending BCHL champs against their neighbours to the east.
"It was a good win for us," said Eagles coach Peter Schaefer. "It was probably the best game we’ve played in a while as far as our compete level goes and it paid off for the guys. We played a good game for the most part, but Langley came on in the late part and outworked us and scored two goals to force overtime. The guys kept working though and got it done in overtime. Hopefully they realize now what they have to do more consistently if want to win."
The defending BCHL champs took a 3-2 lead into the third period and extended it to two goals when Chase McMurphy scored midway through the frame.
The Rivermen gained some life with a goal less than two minutes later and then pulled even with a power play-marker in the final minutes.
The extra session was all Surrey, however, as the Eagles dominated puck possession and mustered two shots on goal before Nathan Renouf bagged the game winner. Danton Heinen scored twice for Surrey to earn first star honours while Matt Dawson finished with a goal and an assist.
Sunday’s result marked a complete turnaround from Surrey’s efforts against the cellar-dwelling Trail Smoke Eaters in South Surrey Friday. The uninspired Eagles mailed in their effort and predictably took it on the chin 5-3 from a hardworking Trail team.
Trail scored three goals in a five-minute span of the second period to build a 4-1 lead and wrest control of the contest. Surrey managed to cut the gap to a single goal in the final frame only to have the Smoke Eaters ice the win with an empty netter.
"That game was a great example of the opposite of what we need to do to be successful," Schaefer said. "The guys came out not ready to play thinking they were going to win easily. They played down to another team’s level that’s out of the playoffs. The Trail guys were ready to go and they’re all working for next year and they just outworked us."
Renouf led all Surrey scorers with two assists while the goals came off the sticks of McMurphy, Kale Bennett and Austin Ferguson.
Surrey started the week in horrible fashion by absorbing a 7-3 pounding at the hands of the host Coquitlam Express Wednesday.
The Eagles surrendered two first period power-play goals, but managed to battle back to tie the game at 2-2 before the first intermission. That was it for Surrey highlights, however, as Coquitlam struck for three unanswered goals in the middle frame and added two more in the third period before Surrey’s Braedan Russell potted a meaningless power-play goal with less than three minutes remaining.
Heinen and Renouf also scored for Surrey. The Eagles are on the road this week with games in Trail Friday and Salmon Arm Saturday.