Halloween weekend was a scary one for the Surrey Eagles, as the BC Hockey League team dropped two games to division rivals.
On Friday at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre, the Birds fell 7-2 to the Chiefs, and Sunday, kicked off the month of November with a 5-2 road loss to the Langley Rivermen.
“Things got a little bit rough for us there in Chilliwack, but on Sunday in Langley, I thought except for a couple last-minute goals, that was our game to win,” said Eagles coach Blaine Neufeld.
The Eagles sit in last place in the BCHL’s Mainland Division, with just four wins in 18 games. They’re just three points back of the fourth-place Prince George Spruce Kings.
Defence continued to be a trouble spot for Surrey – the team has now given up 86 goals-against, which is second-worst in the league – who have played of late without a handful of injured regulars on the blue-line, as well as in net, where 20-year-old starting netminder Justin LaForest has bee sidelined.
Though the injuries have continued to pile up, Neufeld expected to have a full complement of players – or close – within the next week.
“We need to lock it down (defensively) – we want to eliminate second chances and quit chasing the play in our own end,” Neufeld explained. “I thought we did a lot better job of that Sunday, I thought we improved.”
In the goaltending department, reinforcement came prior to the team’s two-game weekend series, as Forbes Ploszaj was acquired from the West Kelowna Warriors for future considerations.
The 18-year-old newcomer started Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, stopping 32 shots. He was also pressed into action Friday, relieving starter Daniel Davidson late in the game.
The second-year coach said he would play the hot hand in net until LaForest returns in December.
“Whoever is going well is going to (play),” Neufeld said.
Against the Chiefs Friday, Paul McAvoy and John Wesley scored for the Eagles, while McAvoy also scored Sunday, along with Donovan Ott.
The Eagles have another busy week upcoming – a Friday game at South Surrey Arena against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, and a Sunday afternoon tilt, also at home, against the Vernon Vipers.
On Nov. 11, the Eagles will host a Remembrance Day contest, at 2 p.m., against the Chiefs.