Surrey Eagle Perry Winfree with the puck against Penticton Thursday morning. (Garrett James photo)

Surrey Eagles get first victory of season with 2-1 win over Vernon

Chase Stevenson ties game late, scores OT winner on Saturday

The Surrey Eagles are into the win column.

The team – winless through the first few weeks of the season and the last remaining winless team in the BC Hockey League prior to Saturday – got their first victory against the Vernon Vipers, 2-1 in overtime. The game was the Birds’ last of two at the BCHL Showcase, which was staged at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre.

On Thursday, Surrey opened the Showcase event with a 4-1 loss to the Penticton Vees.

Saturday’s win bumps the Eagles’ win-loss record to 1-5 under new coach Peter Schaefer, who took the reins of the team near the tail-end of training camp and the preseason schedule.

Schaefer did not return Peace Arch News’ call for comment on the weekend victory.

Against the Vipers, Surrey fell behind in the first period on a Vernon goal from Austin Chorney, and neither team scored in the second frame. The Eagles continued to trail for much of the third period, as well, but Chase Stevenson tied the game late – at the 18:07 mark – to send the game into overtime.

In the extra frame, Stevenson – who is in his first season in Surrey after stints with West Kelowna and Penticton – scored again to give his team the win, ensuring that they didn’t go winless at the Showcase event for the second year in a row.

The goals were Stevenson’s first two of the season.

Daniel Davidson was between the pipes for the Eagles, stopping 35 of 36 shots to earn the victory.

Against Penticton Thursday – a rare morning start, as league games were played throughout the day – Surrey outshot the Okanagan squad 32-27 and Eric Linell scored his fifth goal in five games, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Vees.

Surrey fell behind early after Lukas Sillinger – son of retired NHLer and former Vancouver Mike Sillinger – scored just 22 seconds into the first period.

Just over 10 minutes later, Penticton stretched the lead to 2-0 on a goal from Kenny Johnson. Neither team scored in the second, and Linell’s goal – which came 1:50 into the third – momentarily cut the lead in half, until two goals from Vees’ David Silye, one into an empty net, iced the game.

This week, the Eagles head to Coquitlam Wednesday to take on the Express, and on Friday return home to host the Prince George Spruce Kings. The latter game will feature a pregame ceremony to honour the memory – and retire the jersey number – of former Eagle Jaxon Joseph, who was killed in April in the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash.

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