The Surrey Eagles soared to a pair of victories last week, to jump back up into the middle of the pack in the BC Hockey League’s nine-team Coastal Conference.
Last Wednesday (Nov. 3) the Birds began their busy week with 2-1 road victory over the Chilliwack Chiefs before they boarded a ferry board for Vancouver Island, where they had back-to-back weekend tilts against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Friday – a 5-0 loss for the South Surrey crew – and the Victoria Grizzlies. The Eagles won the latter game, 2-1.
Against Victoria, the Eagles trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes, but rather than head home from their Island road trip winless, Jacob Bonkowski and Jacob Slipec – on the power play – scored less than three minutes apart at the start of the third period to give the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.
But the real star in the victory was goaltender Max Prazma, who stopped 32 shots.
“It was a character win. Everyone grabbed the rope and pulled the right direction,” said Eagles head coach Cam Keith. “You have to give a lot of credit to (Prazma) again for making some big saves early and (then) later on in the game.
“Everyone on our bench did their part today to make sure we… (gave) ourselves the best chance to win on the road.”
The Grizzlies are one of the top teams in the Coastal Conference, and Keith noted that the comeback win against such a good team was a welcome rebound effort for his group, which did not play well the night before in Port Alberni.
“I think it’s a confidence builder. It shows us we’re capable of playing 60 minutes of hockey playing a certain style with a certain energy. Our young team lacked confidence, but games like this are measuring sticks to help us hold ourselves accountable to show us how to win these types of games,” he said.
Though Friday’s game was a forgettable one for the Eagles, who sit with a 5-6 win-loss record for the season, Wednesday’s win came thanks to Prazma, who shut the door for Surrey during a game in which the Chiefs outshot their division rivals 33-16.
The Eagles got goals from rookie forward Grayden Slipec and Michael Abgrall.