The Surrey Eagles are headed into the Christmas break on a high note, after a 4-3 win over the Powell River Kings last Thursday at South Surrey Arena.
The Eagles rode to the victory on the strength of a dominant second period in which they scored four goals, then held on to win despite the Kings answering back in the third frame with three goals of their own.
The two points in the standings were important for the Birds as they aim to keep within striking distance of the final playoff spot in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland Division.
The top four teams make the playoffs, and the Eagles currently sit fifth in the division with a record of 13-21-2-0 (win-loss-overtime loss-tie). They’re eight points back of the Prince George Spruce Kings and nine points back of the red-hot Langley Rivermen, who’ve recently sprung from fifth to third thanks to a stretch in which they’ve won six of their last seven games.
On Thursday against the Kings, the Eagles’ offence was spread throughout the lineup, with four different players lighting the lamp.
After a scoreless first period, captain Paul McAvoy got the home team on the board 12:12 into the second period, and five minutes later, Andrew Kemp and Colten Gerlib scored 57 seconds apart to give Surrey a three-goal cushion.
For Gerlib – a defenceman and former Valley West Hawk major-midget player who joined the Eagles in late November – the goal was the first of his BCHL career.
Ashton Calder capped the second-period scoring barrage with his 12th of the season with just 29 seconds to go before the second intermission.
The third period was not as kind to the Eagles, however, as the visitors poured on the offence with three goals, including the third coming with just 37 seconds remaining on the clock.
Despite the three third-period goals, Eagles netminder Keelan Williams was otherwise solid in net for the home side, stopping 37 shots – including 16 in the third – to earn the win.
The Eagles are now off the ice until after Christmas, with their next game not scheduled until Dec. 30, when they’ll take on the Coquitlam Express at the Poirer Sports and Leisure Centre. The Birds’ next home contest is Jan. 5, when they host the Wenatchee Wild.