Surrey Eagles forward Justyn Gurney scored a game-tying goal Sunday against Victoria to send the game to overtime. Surrey eventually won the game in a shootout. (Garrett James photo)

Shootout winner gives Surrey Eagles win in Victoria

BCHL squad wins one of three games on Vancouver Island road trip

A nifty shootout goal from rookie Matthew McKim Sunday in Victoria salvaged what was an otherwise difficult road trip for the Surrey Eagles last weekend.

McKim’s tally – a hard wrist shot that went post-and-in over the glove of Victoria Grizzlies’ goalie Keenan Rancier – gave the visiting Eagles a 6-5 win, which was the Surrey squad’s only points of a three-games-in-three-days Vancouver Island trip that began with a 6-2 loss in Nanaimo Friday and continued with a 4-2 defeat Saturday evening against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

McKim has only one goal on the season, but he has become something of a shootout specialist for the Birds – Sunday marked the second time this year that the Newfoundland native has sniped the shootout winner for his team.

And though no doubt thrilled to leave Victoria with two points, the Eagles very nearly left empty handed. The team trailed by one goal until Justyn Gurney tied the game up with just five minutes left in the third period, and in overtime, goaltender Kyle Dumba made a big save at the buzzer to ensure the game moved on to a shootout.

In total, Dumba was peppered with 47 Victoria shots.

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Surrey’s Chase Stevenson scored twice in the game – with both goals coming within the first five minutes of the opening frame to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. The two-goal cushion evaporated by the first intermission, however, as the Grizzlies clawed back on goals from Lach Hadley and Alex Newhook.

Victoria scored twice more in the second period to go up 4-2 before Surrey’s Samuel Feldman scored to draw the Birds to within one. In the third, Alexander Campbell restored the Grizzlies’ two-goal lead before Corey Clifton and Gurney scored for Surrey.

Ty Westgard – who is tied for second in BCHL scoring with 24 points in 18 games – had three assists in the win, and also scored in the shootout.

On Saturday night in Cowichan, the Eagles fell behind early and never recovered. The Capitals scored the game’s first three goals – all in a 10-minute span in the middle of the first period – before Holden Katzalay notched his fourth of the season to get Surrey on the board before the intermission.

Neither team scored in the second, and Clifton rounded out Surrey’s scoring in the third with his second of the year.

Daniel Davidson got the start in net for Surrey, and was tagged with the loss. He was chased from the net and replaced by Dumba after the third Caps’ goal.

Friday’s tilt against the Nanaimo Clippers was similar to Saturday’s in Cowichan in that the home team jumped out to another early lead. The Clippers scored the first three goals Friday – including the third off the stick of White Rock resident and former Surrey Eagle Mackenzie Merriman – before Katazalay scored for Surrey.

In the second period, Matthew Barnes scored his first of the year, on the power play, to round out the scoring for the visiting squad.

Clippers forward Ethan Scardina, who like Merriman is a White Rock native, picked up two assists against his hometown club.

The Eagles currently sit with a 5-13 win-loss record, and are five points back of the Langley Rivermen for fourth place in the Mainland Division. This week, the Eagles host the Rivermen in a rare, midweek, midday game – puck drop is set for noon on Wednesday. The game is the team’s annual ‘School Day Game’ in which the rink is filled with students from local elementary schools.

On Friday, the two division rivals will square off in a rematch in Langley, and on Sunday, Surrey hosts Victoria at South Surrey Arena at 4 p.m.



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