Surrey Eagles goalie Cayden Bailey made more than 80 saves in a pair of losses to the Prince George Spruce Kings last weekend. (Garrett James photo)

Surrey Eagles drop pair of games in Prince George

Team still in BC Hockey League playoff hunt despite recent struggles

The losses continue to pile up for the Surrey Eagles as the struggling BC Hockey League team trudges to the finish line of the regular-season schedule.

On the weekend, the Eagles lost both ends of a two-game road trip to Prince George – falling 5-0 to the hometown Spruce Kings Friday before losing 3-1 in the rematch a day later.

The Eagles have now lost three in a row – they ended January with a 7-3 loss to West Kelowna – and just one of eight since the middle of last month. The Birds did earn two points with a 3-1 road win Jan. 27 over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, which was just the team’s fifth points of the month.

“(I) can’t say I’ve been disappointed at all with the guys’ play… we’ve had a tough schedule the last couple weeks, too, playing some top teams but these guys keep battling,” Eagles head coach Linden Saip said prior to the team’s loss to West Kelowna.

Despite the goose egg on the scoreboard Friday, the star for the Eagles was netminder Cayden Bailey, who made 42 saves in the losing effort. Bailey was back between the pipes Saturday, too, making 39 stops. Cole Edgerton – who was acquired from Coquitlam just prior to the trade deadline in a swap for Ty Westgard – scored the visitors’ lone goal.

The two weekend losses to the Spruce Kings bring Surrey’s record to 10-36-2-2 (win-loss-overtime loss-shootout loss), which sits them in the basement of the BCHL with 24 points. The league’s current playoff format, however, seems just one of the circuit’s 17 teams miss the postseason, so despite their struggles, the Eagles are still mathematically in the hunt.

Just three teams in the league have yet to clinch a playoff spot – Surrey, Alberni Valley and Cowichan. Cowichan is 11 points up on the Eagles with seven games to go. Surrey, meanwhile, has eight games left on their schedule and will have to win at least six of them to have a chance at the final playoff berth.

The Eagles will have a chance to get back into the win column Friday when they host the Langley Rivermen at South Surrey Arena. On Saturday, they’ll head east to take on the Chilliwack Chiefs before returning home Sunday for a 4 p.m. tilt with Prince George.



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