What a difference a few days makes.
A little over a week after the Surrey Eagles blew a third-period lead and lost to the Merritt Centennials at the BC Hockey League Showcase, the South Surrey squad turned the tables on their Interior Division foes this week, winning 5-4 thanks to a barrage of goals in the final frame.
Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes of action at South Surrey Arena Sunday, the home side scored four times – Merritt replied twice – to steal two points in the standings.
Eagles’ captain Kyle Star wasted little time tying the game, scoring just 20 seconds in the period, though Merritt’s Zak Bowles restored the Centennials’ lead just 56 seconds later.
John Wesley – who returned to the Eagles nest last week after being a late cut of the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes – and Darius Davidson followed suit, scoring twice in under two minutes, though the back-and-forth battle continued later in the period, when Nick Jermain once again tied the game for the visitors.
Donovan Ott scored what turned out to be the winning goal for the Eagles, beating Centennial netminder Cole Kehler with less than five minutes to go in the game.
Justin LaForest picked up the win for Surrey, stopping 28 of 32 shots.
Five Eagles had multiple-point games, led by Wesley, who had a goal and two assists, and Kodi Schwarz, who had three helpers. Ty Westgard had two assists, Ott had a pair of goals, while Davidson and Star each had a goal and an assist.
The win was the Eagles’ second of the season, and boosted the team’s record to 2-6 – good enough to bump themselves out of the cellar of the BCHL’s Mainland Division. They’re now one point up on the Prince George Spruce Kings, who have just one win in eight games.
Sunday’s victory was also a welcome start to the month of October, after September ended up a sour note for the Birds.
Last Wednesday at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre, the Eagles were shut out 6-0 by the Chiefs.
The game started out fairly even, with the home team leading just 1-0 after the first period, but the second period was the Eagles’ undoing.
Chilliwack scored five unanswered goals in the middle frame including one one the power play, to stake themselves to a 6-0 lead.
The five goals came during a 19-shots-on-goal outburst for the Chiefs, who peppered LaForest with rubber, eventually driving him from the crease in favour of backup netminder Daniel Davidson, who stopped 20 of 21 shots on goal the rest of the way.
Though the Chiefs scored just once with the man-advantage, the Eagles did themselves few favours in any comeback attempt – they were shorthanded for much of the second half the game, racking up 36 minutes in penalties, four 10-minute misconducts and two game misconducts.
The Eagles will play one more game on home ice this Friday – 7 p.m. against the Chiefs – before hitting the road. On Saturday, they’ll square off against the struggling Victoria Grizzlies, and Sunday they’ll be in Cowichan for a tilt with the Capitals.