The revolving door in the Surrey Eagles’ crease this season took another turn last week, as the BC Hockey League team made another three-team trade.
On Friday, the team announced it had dealt forward Chase Stevenson to the Trail Smoke Eaters and acquired goaltender Hayden Missler from the Powell River Kings and defenceman Jeremy Smith from Trail.
Powell River acquired blue-liner Ethan Martini from Trail to round out the trade.
Early returns on Smith were positive for the Eagles, as the new defenceman scored twice Saturday in his first game with his new team. Surrey lost 6-3 to Langley, however – which followed a Friday-night loss to the same team, 4-1.
RECAP: It was a dream debut for Jeremy Smith, who scored twice in his first game with the Eagles. Cayden Bailey stopped 12 shots in relief of Hayden Missler, and Holden Katzalay and Corey Clifton both finished with two assists in a losing effort in Langley on Saturday night. pic.twitter.com/wbi32EEiBY
— Surrey Eagles (@SurreyEagles) November 18, 2018
On Saturday, the Eagles rebounded with a 6-2 win over the Coquitlam Express.
Last week’s moves mark the second time this season that the Birds have traded a top-line forward for a goaltender. In October, Surrey dealt Eric Linell – who was the team’s leading goal-scorer at the time – to Penticton in a three-team deal that netted them veteran goalie Kyle Dumba.
Stevenson – who is committed to the NCAA’s University of New Hampshire – had 10 goals and 22 points in 25 games for Surrey, and upon being shipped to Trail instantly became their leading scorer.
The addition of Dumba made for a crowded crease, as goaltenders Cayden Bailey – another in-season acquisition – and Daniel Davidson were already on the roster. Surrey general manager Blaine Neufeld told Peace Arch News at the time he was comfortable with the unconventional move of carrying all three on the roster, but the experiment lasted only a few weeks, until Davidson – one of the longest-serving Eagles – was shipped to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s La Ronge Ice Wolves for future considerations.
This time, rather than go with another three-goalie combo in light of the acquisition of Missler, Dumba was dealt to the Victoria Grizzlies for future considerations last weekend.
Dumba played just 12 games with the Eagles, and finished with a record of 3-7 (win-loss), a save-percentage of .876.
Missler is the fifth goaltender to suit up for the Eagles through 29 games this season.
“We’ve gone through a number of goalies in the past number of years, trying to find the right fit,” Neufeld told PAN in October, at the time of the Dumba deal.
For the moment, Bailey appears to have taken over the starter’s role for the Eagles.
The 18-year-old New York native stopped 37 of 39 shots in the team’s weekend win over Coquitlam, and on Monday was named as an ‘honourable mention’ in the BCHL’s player-of-the-week awards.
It wasn't easy and it took some acrobatics 🤸♂️
— Surrey Eagles (@SurreyEagles) November 20, 2018
The Eagles are back on the ice this weekend when they host the Penticton Vees at South Surrey Arena on Saturday night.