Friday, November 29, 2013

Express 9 Eagles 6

Coquitlam and Surrey combined for 15 goals, but it was the Express who came away victors in a wild 9-6 shootout Friday at Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

The Eagles battled back from an early four-goal hole, but Coquitlam's offense continued to click for 60 minutes as the Mainland division rivals split a midweek home-and-home set.

The Express were ahead 4-0 by the six-minute mark thanks in part to a hat-trick from Joey Santucci and a penalty shot goal from Canon Pieper, but Surrey clawed their way back through the remainder of the frame, scoring first on a power-play slot effort from Braeden Russell. Joseph Drapluk later converted a feed from Mitchell Fyffe, and Russell would add a second before the period wound out.

The Eagles tied things at 4-4 early in the second on Russell's third of the game, but the Express would regain the lead shortly thereafter on a terrific solo effort from Adam Rockwood, who cut across the crease and slid home his second goal in as many games. Marc Biega gave Coquitlam a two-goal lead before Ryan Rosenthal redirected a Biega point shot on an Express power-play to round out the second period scoring.

Surrey drew back to within two 1:40 into the third when Nathan Renouf flared home a shot from in tight, but the Express restored their three-goal lead minutes later on a rebound effort that caromed in off Jackson Cressey.

Pieper added an empty-netter on a late Surrey power-play before Nic Pierog closed proceedings for the Eagles with a snapper from the high slot in the final minute.

Gordie Defiel stopped 27 shots to record the win, while Devon Fordyce was tagged with the loss.

My Three Stars:
1. Joey Santucci, Coquitlam
2. Braeden Russell, Surrey
3. Marc Biega, Coquitlam

Up Next: The Eagles are idle until Friday, December 6th, when they begin a two-game Okanagan swing in West Kelowna.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Gameday: Eagles @ Express

Nic Pierog wore the "C" Wednesday in Brett Mulcahy's absence and will surely bring plenty of energy to Friday's tilt (Damon James photo)

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Coquitlam Express
When: November 29, 7:00 pm
Where: Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles go in search of the third seed in the BCHL's Mainland division at Coquitlam Friday. Surrey sits one point behind the Express after a wild 7-5 victory Wednesday that saw three Eagles factor in with multi-goal games.

Danton Heinen led the way with four points, while Nathan Renouf and Joseph Drapluk each added two goals as Surrey closed out its November home schedule with its fourth win in six tries. And with Friday's game being both the Eagles' only fixture this weekend and the final game of the month, no doubt Peter Schaefer's crew will try to continue on the success enjoyed two nights ago at South Surrey Arena.

A win this evening would lift the Eagles past the Express into third place in the Mainland division; Coquitlam enters play one point up on Surrey (26 vs. 25).

Last Meeting: Surrey matched its best offensive output of the campaign in Wednesday's 7-5 win, and recorded its first home-ice win against the Express this season. Coquitlam leads the season series 3-2.

Our Opponent: The Express will be eager to start the weekend off on a positive note and can take stock in a strong third-period comeback that nearly paid off Wednesday. Coquitlam visits the Island Saturday and Sunday and in doing so will burn two of their four games in hand on the Eagles by the end of the weekend. Playmaker Adam Rockwood leads all scorers in the season series with 11 points through five games; both he and captain Ryan Rosenthal put up a goal and an assist two nights ago.

In the Press Box: Veterans Brett Mulcahy and Colton Mackie both missed Wednesday's game; blueliner Ryan Fraser-Lee is out. Newcomer Luke Sandler is eligible to return following a two-game suspension.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday Audio

I had a chance to catch up with the newest Surrey Eagle, Luke Sandler, before Wednesday's 7-5 win over the Express. Sandler, from Chicago, put up 23 goals last season in the BCHL with Cowichan Valley and Trail before a stint with USHL Muskegon at the start of this season.

Sandler missed last night's game due to suspension, but so far has marked the start of his Eagles career with 2 goals in his first three games. He'll make his return to the lineup tomorrow in Coquitlam.

To listen to our conversation, click here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Eagles 7 Express 5

Nathan Renouf, Joseph Drapluk and Danton Heinen each had multi-goal games to help the Eagles to their second straight win, 7-5 over the Coquitlam Express Wednesday at South Surrey Arena.

Surrey scored twice in the opening 32 seconds of the third period to break Wednesday's game open, then withstood an Express rally to move to within one point of third place in the Mainland division.

The Eagles opened the scoring 5:37 into the game when Renouf fired home his fourth goal of the season before Corey Mackin equalized things midway through the opening frame.

Surrey pounced on BCHL Player of the Week Gordie Defiel, scoring twice more in the final 3:01 of the period. First, Drapluk finished off a 2-on-1 after a nifty setup from Heinen, then Jonah Renouf put home a snapshot after a quick feed from behind the net from his brother.

The teams traded goals in the second period, Surrey's coming on a penalty shot after Heinen was hauled down while bearing down on Defiel after winning a race to a loose puck in the neutral zone. The rookie forward coolly slotted his tenth goal of the season blocker-side on Defiel to put the hosts up 4-2 after 40 minutes.

The Eagles were well on their way to victory after the rapid-fire goals to start the third, but Coquitlam chipped away at their deficit, first when a loose puck made its way to Daniel Lange just outside the crease of Surrey starter Devon Fordyce. Lange tucked his sixth of the season home with 8:53 gone in the period.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal cut the lead to 6-4 on a pretty solo rush 2:20 later, then veteran blueliner Zach Hodder brought the Express back to within a goal with six minutes left. Surrey didn't buckle, though, with Heinen eventually finding the empty net with 30 seconds left to seal the win.

Fordyce made 32 saves to collect the victory, while Defiel was tagged with the loss.

My Three Stars:
1. Danton Heinen, Surrey
2. Ryan Rosenthal, Coquitlam
3. Nathan Renouf, Surrey

Up Next: The two teams meet again Friday in Coquitlam. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Tidbits: The Eagles were missing four overage players to injury and suspension, and dressed three affiliate callup forwards. Jonah Renouf now has goals in four straight games. 9 of Heinen's 11 goals this season have been scored on home ice.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Express

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Coquitlam Express
When: November 27, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles close out the first half of the BCHL season tonight against Coquitlam, as Surrey goes in search of its second consecutive win on home ice. Jonah Renouf and Danton Heinen scored third-period goals, and Devon Fordyce made 21 saves Saturday to propel Surrey to a come-from-behind win against the Merritt Centennials. Renouf, whose goal sparked the Teddy Bear Toss Saturday night, has now scored in three straight games and has taken over the Eagles' team lead in points with 31.

The Eagles have yet to beat Coquitlam on home ice this season, but a win tonight would inch Surrey to within a point of the third-place Express. Tonight's game is the first in a home-and-home set as well, as the two sides will meet Friday in Coquitlam.

Last Meeting: Coquitlam scored three times in the opening period and withstood a furious Surrey rally to win 4-3 at Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre on November 6th. The Express lead the season series 3-1.

Our Opponent: The Express are sure to be confident after a weekend sweep of the Interior division-leading Penticton Vees. Coquitlam posted a 3-1 victory at home Friday and edged the Vees 2-1 in overtime Saturday, earning netminder Gordie Defiel a BCHL Player of the Week award. Forward Bo Pieper, who scored Saturday's winner, is riding a 9-game point streak while playmaker Adam Rockwood's 28 assists lead the BCHL. Only three teams (Salmon Arm, Powell River & Victoria) have scored more goals than the Express' 94 this season.

In the Press Box: Surrey remains without defenseman Ryan Fraser-Lee (IR), while newcomer Luke Sandler serves the second of a two-game suspension tonight. Coquitlam have no listed injuries.