Surrey Eagles’ win comes in double-overtime

Ashton Calder's two-goal performance leads BCHL team to only win of the week.

After a thrilling double-overtime victory on home ice Thursday, the Surrey Eagles weren’t able to carry the momentum into the weekend, as the BC Hockey League team was snowed under twice by the competition.

On Thursday night at South Surrey Arena, Ashton Calder led the charge with two goals – including the game-winner – in the Eagles’ 3-2 win against the Chilliwack Chiefs, but their Fraser Valley foes returned the favour 24 hours later, winning 3-0, this time in Chilliwack.

The Eagles wrapped up the weekend back in South Surrey, where they dropped a 2-1 game to the visiting Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The 1-2 week puts the team fifth in the Mainland Division with a 12-21-2-0 record (win-loss-overtime loss-tie), though the gap between them and the fourth-place Langley Rivermen has widened to five points thanks to the Rivermen winning three of their last four games, and five of their last seven.

Against the Chiefs on Thursday, Calder supplied the overtime heroics – scoring his 11th goal of the season 3:38 into the three-on-three extra time frame – but new goaltender Keelan Williams also played a key role, making 36 saves in a game his squad was outshot 38-30.

He also made a game-saving stop in the final seconds of the first overtime period, as Chiefs’ Kale Kane had two chances to score as the clock ticked down to zero.

Chillwack got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead when Cole Poliziani scored 14:34 in the first period, but by the second intermission the scored was knotted at 1-1 thanks to Surrey’s Jordan Robert.

After Chillwack retook the lead early in the third, it was Calder who tied the game with his first of the night. Linemate Nick Fea assisted on all three Eagles’ goals to give him 20 points in 24 games this season.

Calder’s game winner came when the winger – who’d taken a shot from the high slot – scooped up his own rebound and fired it past Chilliwack goalie Brendan Barry.

Friday’s tilt was less exciting from an Eagles’ perspective, as the team was unable to get any pucks past Chilliwack’s other goalkeeper Mark Sinclair, who made 24 saves to earn the shutout.

The Eagles – whose power play has been at or near the top of the league all season – were unable to generate any offence with the man-advantage, going 0-for-4. The Chiefs, too, struggled on the power play, as Eagle penalty-killers kept them off the board on three attempts.

On Sunday afternoon at South Surrey Arena, Darius Davidson – the team’s leading scorer – was the only Bird to bulge the twine in the 2-1 loss, though his goal was an important one for other reasons – it triggered a barrage of stuffed toys from the stands, as Sunday’s contest was the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss night.

The bears were collected and donated to the Surrey Christmas Bureau, and will be given to young children for Christmas.

Davidson’s goal came early in the second period – defenceman Tyler Cooper and Nick Minerva picked up assists – and tied the game 1-1; Cowichan’s Jared Cowin had given the visitors a 1-0 lead late in the first frame.

Near the end of the second, the Caps took a 2-1 lead on a goal from Trevor Ayre – a Surrey native – and held on through the third period for the win.

Davidson’s goal was his 19th of the season, which is eighth best in the league, and when added to his 19 assists, puts him 14th overall in scoring.

Sunday’s game was also a milestone for the veteran – his 200th in the BCHL. Save for a 21-game stint in Penticton last season, all have come in Eagles’ colours.

“He’s a real important player for us, and he’s having a great season,” Eagles head coach Blaine Neufeld told Peace Arch News.

The Eagles have one more game before breaking for the holidays – this Thursday, they’ll host the Powell River Kings at South Surrey Arena (6:30 p.m. puck drop).

After a two-week break, they’ll return to action Dec. 30 when they’ll travel to Coquitlam for a game against the division-rival Express, who are 11 points back of the Eagles in the Mainland Division.

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