It was an unconventional victory – with a score more befitting of a peewee football game – but a victory nonetheless for the Surrey Eagles, who ended a month-long losing streak with an 11-8 win over the Merritt Centennials last Wednesday.
The struggling BC Hockey League club – which had lost a dozen consecutive games prior to Wednesday’s win in Merritt – ended the slump in fine fashion, scoring more goals in one game than they had in the previous six combined.
The Eagles trailed 3-2 after the opening 20 minutes, with Merritt’s Gavin Gould scoring the final two goals of the period, including a shorthanded marker with just 21 seconds remaining.
Surrey poured on the offence over the final two periods, however, scoring four goals in the second period and five in the third to earn the win.
Jeffrey Stewart led the Eagles’ offence with a six-point effort – including three goals – while four other players had three-point games.
Tyler Andrews also had three goals, while John Wesley – who took over wearing the captain’s ‘C’ when Kyle Star was traded to Trail last month – had two goals and on assist. Darius Davidson had a goal and two helpers, and Paul McAvoy and Trent Huitema had three and two assists, respectively, to round out the multi-point scorers.
Daniel Davidson went the distance in net, stopping 40 of 48 Centennial shots.
The victory gave the Eagles five on the season, though they weren’t able to make it two in a row Friday, after a 6-4 home-ice loss to the visiting West Kelowna Warriors.
Surrey got off to a good start against the Warriors, with Wednesday’s goal-scoring leaders Andrews and Stewart each scoring again.
The Eagles 2-1 lead evaporated quickly in the second period, however, as Kelowna potted a pair of quick goals – Kristian Blumenschein scored just 31 seconds into the period, and Rylan Yaremko gave his team the lead a minute-and-a-half later with a power-play goal.
The Warriors tacked on two more goals before the second intermission, and the lead proved to be too much for Surrey to overcome, despite third-period scores from Darius Davidson and Stewart again.
Eagles goalie Forbes Ploszaj was tagged with the loss for the home team, stopping 28 of 23 shots on goal before he was relieved by Daniel Davidson midway through the second period.
The Eagles sit last in the BCHL’s Mainland Division with a 5-22-0-0 record (win-loss-tie-overtime loss), and are six points back of the Prince George Spruce Kings, who have lost four in a row.
Surrey heads south to Washington this week for a two-game road trip to Wenatchee to face the Wild.
The two squads will play Thursday and Friday, before the Eagles return home Sunday for a 4 p.m. game against the Nanaimo Clippers, who currently lead the Island Division with a 17-10-0-1 record.