Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fyffe Tabbed By League

Eagles forward Mitch Fyffe picked up an honourable mention for BCHL Player of the Week today after scoring two goals and three points this past weekend against Chilliwack.

It's a well-deserved honour for the three-year vet. His contributions on the ice go far beyond the points he has put up on the scoreboard, with steady commitment to defensive-zone coverage and skills in the faceoff circle among Fyffe's talents.

Congrats Fyffer, and keep up the good work.

The full release from the team follows:

The Surrey Eagles would like to congratulate forward Mitch Fyffe on being awarded an honourable mention for BCHL Player of the Week Tuesday.

Fyffe, a native of New Westminster, led all Eagles scorers with two goals and an assist in a pair of defeats this past weekend. In 36 appearances this season, the 19 year-old has compiled 7 goals and 11 points, with five of his goals this season coming away from home.

Fyffe also skated in his 150th BCHL regular-season game on December 28th, 115 of which were played from 2010-2013 with the Coquitlam Express.

This week's Player of the Week is Fyffe's former Express teammate Marc Biega.

The Eagles would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Surrey returns to the South Surrey Arena on Friday, January 3rd to host the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekend Audio

If you missed it on either Saturday or Sunday's broadcasts, here is some tape for your listening pleasure.


I chatted with forward Mitch Fyffe before Saturday's home game against Chilliwack. That contest marked Fyffe's 150th BCHL regular-season appearance. To hear his thoughts on that and more, click here.

Fellow forward Joe Drapluk joined me Sunday. Hear that interview by clicking here.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chiefs 5 Eagles 2

A trio of first-period goals spurred the Chilliwack Chiefs on to a 5-2 victory over the Eagles at Prospera Centre Sunday.

Ben Butcher scored a pair, and Chiefs netminder Spencer Tremblay turned in a 37-save performance to help Chilliwack to its second victory over Surrey in as many days.

Chilliwack started early, with Butcher cashing in on a close-range backhander at the 6:16 mark, but the Eagles found an equalizer less than two minutes later when Mitch Fyffe snapped home a shot from the left circle for his second goal in as many nights.

Butcher scored again moments later after a rebound fell onto his stick at the bottom of the left-wing circle. Less than two minutes after that, the Chiefs found a two-goal lead when Mathieu Tibbet strode down the right wing and snapped a low shot that snuck through Eagle netminder Bo Didur's pads.

The Eagles crept back to within a goal early in period two, however. Matt Dawson sizzled a shot goalward that was deflected through Tremblay's legs by fellow rookie Darius Davidson.

But less than a minute later, the Chiefs struck back. Veteran Tanner Cochrane worked his way out of a pileup behind the Surrey net and backhanded home his second goal in as many games from just outside the blue paint. Cooper Rush added a fifth late in the frame on a Chilliwack odd-man rush.

Devon Fordyce replaced Didur to start period three and stopped all nine shots he faced, but Tremblay endured a busier final frame, thwarting Surrey on all 17 shots they sent his way to record his fourth win of the season.

My Three Stars:
1. Spencer Tremblay, Chilliwack
2. Ben Butcher, Chilliwack
3. Tanner Cochrane, Chilliwack

Up Next: Surrey will ring in 2014 with a home date against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday. Game time is 7:00 at South Surrey Arena.

Gameday: Eagles @ Chiefs

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Chilliwack Chiefs
When: December 29, 5:00 pm
Where: Prospera Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

Surrey aims to bounce back in a Sunday evening rematch against the Chiefs in Chilliwack. After a flying start, Chilliwack found three second-period goals en route to a 5-3 win at South Surrey Arena last night, the Eagles' first home loss since Remembrance Day.

The Eagles have yet to win this season at Prospera Centre, dropping 3-2 and 6-4 decisions earlier this season. Peter Schaefer's squad will certainly shake off those earlier setbacks, though, with an interest on rejuvenating an away form that has netted only three victories since the end of September.

Up front, Nic Pierog rides a five-game goal-scoring streak after his first-period tally yesterday. Pierog leads the club with 24 goals, 16 of which have come on home ice.

Last Meeting: Chilliwack's victory last night means they now lead the season series 3-1. Yesterday's game was the first in the four previous meetings in which the visiting team won.

Our Opponent: The Chiefs go into tonight's game with a chance to collect their tenth victory of the season, and part of their success Saturday was certainly attributable to both goaltending and timely goals from more than the top line of Austin Plevy, Mathieu Tibbet and Tanner Cochrane. Netminder Spencer Tremblay was strong, especially in the first period where he made nine saves as the Eagles pressed early. Chilliwack's penalty-kill this season is eight percentage points higher away from home (83%) than at Prospera Centre (75%).

In the Press Box: Neither side has any listed injuries.

Chiefs 5 Eagles 3


Austin Plevy's power-play goal 2:53 into the third period stood up as the winner as the Chilliwack Chiefs defeated the Eagles 5-3 in Surrey Saturday.

Plevy banked a hard centring pass off an Eagle into the Surrey net to, at the time, give the Chiefs a 4-1 lead as Chilliwack withstood a late charge to earn their third win over Surrey in four tries.

Saturday's game could well have gone the other way, though. The Eagles were rampant in period one, scoring once through Nic Pierog and coming close on a number of other occasions to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Goaltender Devon Fordyce had to be strong, too, at the other end notably robbing Plevy on a one-time chance late in the frame.

But the Chiefs used the first intermission to their advantage and found a pair of timely goals early in the second period. First, Jaret Babych snuck a shot into the top corner from close range, then Kurt Black tapped home a rebound effort just over a minute later.

After both Pierog and Philippe Johansson hit posts, the Chiefs found a third goal from Blake Gober 1:44 before the end of period two, when the Chilliwack forward stole a puck inside the Surrey line and danced to the front of the net, beating Fordyce with a forehand effort.

Plevy's goal added to the Chiefs lead early in period three before Braeden Russell got the Eagles back on the board just shy of the ten-minute mark.

Chilliwack's Tanner Cochrane converted a Plevy feed with just under four minutes left to restore the Chiefs' 3-goal lead, until Surrey's Mitch Fyffe rounded out the scoring with a snapper over goaltender Spencer Tremblay's shoulder from close range.

The loss was Surrey's first at home since November 11th and snapped a three-game winning streak. Chilliwack earned their second successive victory, and Tremblay his first win in goal in over a month.

My Three Stars:
1. Austin Plevy, Chilliwack
2. Nic Pierog, Surrey
3. Tanner Cochrane, Chilliwack

Up Next: The two sides meet again Sunday evening in Chilliwack. Game time is 5:00 pm at Prospera Centre.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gameday: Eagles vs. Chiefs

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
When: December 28, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

TICKETS: surreyeagles.ca
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The second half of the 2013-14 Surrey Eagles season begins in earnest tonight with the first of six post-holiday meetings with the Chilliwack Chiefs. The Eagles went into the break in terrific home form with five straight wins here at South Surrey Arena, most recently a 5-3 triumph over Prince George that was accentuated by a two-goal effort from Braedan Russell.

The Eagles come into play fourteen points ahead of Chilliwack for the final playoff spot in the Mainland division, but will surely not take tonight's guests lightly. Two of the three meetings this season have been decided by a goal, with the home side winning on both occasions.

Surrey will also be mindful of the upcoming schedule and will certainly want to collect positive momentum from their final home game of 2013. The Eagles visit each of their Mainland rivals at least once between now and the end of January and will play seven of their next ten games away from South Surrey Arena.

Look for overager Nic Pierog to continue his recent string of success tonight against the Chiefs. The 20 year-old has scored in each of the last two clashes between Surrey and Chilliwack, and has goals in his last four games overall.

Last Meeting: The two sides haven't met since a high-scoring home-and-home series split in early November, Chilliwack winning the back end 6-4 on November 9th. The Chiefs lead the season series 2-1.

Our Opponent: Chilliwack went into the holiday break with an emphatic 13-5 home win over the Trail Smoke Eaters last Saturday night, with Mathieu Tibbet leading the way with 4 goals. Merrimack commit Austin Plevy leads the offense with 42 points, while 17 year-old Kamloops product Carter Cochrane leads all 1996-born BCHLers with 30 points and sits second in Chiefs scoring. Chilliwack, though, have allowed a league-high 174 goals this season.

In the Press Box: Neither side has any listed injuries.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Eagles 5 Spruce Kings 3


Nathan Renouf's third-period goal stood up as the game-winner as the Eagles won their fifth straight home game, 5-3 over Prince George Thursday.

Renouf accepted a left-wing feed from twin brother Jonah, unleashing a hard snapper into the top right corner for his seventh goal of the season, and third game-winner.

Surrey, playing its final game prior to the holiday break, endured a cagey, scoreless opening frame that was highlighted by a mid-period scrap between Braedan Russell and Marco Ballarin. Russell took offense to a hard hit on linemate Luke Sandler, and the pair wrestled before each combatant landed one late blow on their way to the ice.

Brett Mulcahy opened the scoring early in period two, redirecting a hard centring feed from Colton Mackie past Spruce Kings starter Jesse Jenks from just outside the crease. Russell doubled the Surrey lead later in the frame on a power-play, taking advantage of a Sandler drop pass in the high slot and wiring a wrist shot past Jenks' glove hand.

The Spruce Kings found the scoreboard 1:28 after Russell's goal through Jake LeBrun, who found a loose puck at the feet of Surrey netminder Bo Didur and poked the rebound past his outstretched left pad. The one-goal differential wouldn't last long, though, as Russell put home his second of the game on another hard wrist shot after cutting across the Prince George defensive zone.

The visitors would round out the scoring in a busy second period 1:18 from the break, again by capitalizing on a loose puck near the net. Jeremiah Luedtke swept in from the left circle and bashed home his ninth goal of the season to make the score 3-2 Surrey after fourty minutes.

The Eagles found their fourth tally through Renouf 2:17 into the third before Mitch Eden hammered a dump-in off a left-wing stanchion less than a minute later, causing the puck to carom wildly from the boards through the left-wing circle, and past a perplexed Didur.

But like Saturday's win against Nanaimo, the Eagles locked down their defensive zone in period three, thanks in part to nine saves from the 16 year-old goaltender, before Nic Pierog secured the two points with an empty-net goal in the dying seconds.

Surrey's penalty-kill was put to the test Thursday too, but passed with flying colours, holding Prince George off the scoresheet on six power-play opportunities.

Didur made 25 stops to record his second home-ice win in just his third start at South Surrey Arena, while Jenks was tagged with the loss. With the win, Surrey moves to within two points of the third-place Coquitlam Express, who are in action Friday.

My Three Stars
1. Braedan Russell, Surrey
2. Jeremiah Luedtke, Prince George
3. Nathan Renouf, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles will break camp for a week, and return to action next Saturday, December 28th against the Chilliwack Chiefs. Game time is 7:00 pm at South Surrey Arena.

Thursday Audio: If you missed it on the show tonight, click here for a conversation with blueliner Kale Bennett.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gameday: Eagles vs. Spruce Kings

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Prince George Spruce Kings
When: December 19, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

TICKETS: surreyeagles.ca
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

Surrey goes in search of its fifth consecutive home win tonight in the pre-holiday finale against Prince George. The Eagles posted victories on home ice Saturday and Sunday, the latter a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory against Coquitlam that saw leading scorer Jonah Renouf snap a three-game pointless streak with a pretty extra-time winner.

Tonight, the Eagles will place great importance on focus: with a week-long layoff just a day away, Surrey will have to remain intent on securing two points against a speedy, physical Spruce Kings squad.

Watch for forward Danton Heinen to have an extra hop in his step tonight. The 18 year-old earned an honourable mention for BCHL Player of the Week Monday, and thanks to a terrific November and December, the Langley product now leads the Eagles in scoring at home with 11 goals and 21 points.

Last Meeting: Jonah Renouf's winner 1:08 from the end of the third period helped Surrey to a 2-1 win at the Coliseum November 16th. The season series is even through five meetings with each team holding a 2-2-1 record.

Our Opponent: The Spruce Kings return to the Lower Mainland on the heels of a two-game sweep against the Chilliwack Chiefs, their most recent game being an 8-5 win Monday night. Prince George could move back into a share of the Mainland division lead with wins tonight and tomorrow (at Chilliwack); you can bet Dave Dupas' squad will be itching to head out on their holiday break on a high note. Prince George likes to activate their blue line. Four Spruce Kings defensemen have 17 or more points, with 20 year-old Christian Weidauer leading the way with 31.

In the Press Box: Neither side has any listed injuries.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Heinen Snags Honourable Mention

The BCHL league office announced tonight that Eagles forward Danton Heinen has picked up an honourable mention in the Player of the Week awards.

Heinen has been on fire lately for Surrey, scoring the winner against Nanaimo Saturday and rifling a shot into the top corner of the net in yesterday's second period. With 8 goals in his last nine games, the 18 year-old now has 16 on the year, good for second among rookies in the BCHL.

The full release from the team follows:

Surrey Eagles forward Danton Heinen was awarded an honourable mention Monday for Gongshow Gear BCHL Player of the Week.

Heinen, 18, scored 2 goals, including a game-winner Saturday, and two assists in the Eagles' two home-ice victories this past weekend.

In his last 9 games, the Langley product has scored 8 times, totalling 14 points. He leads the Eagles in home-ice scoring with 21 points from 16 games played.

This week's Player of the Week is Landon Smith of Salmon Arm.

Heinen and the Eagles return to action Thursday, December 19th when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings at 7:00 pm at South Surrey Arena. For ticket information, call (604) 531-GOAL (4625) or purchase tickets online at www.surreyeagles.ca.

Sunday Audio


For your listening pleasure, here are a pair of interviews which ran during our broadcast of yesterday's 5-4 overtime win over the Coquitlam Express.

For my pre-game chat with assistant coach Danny Falso, click here.

For my first intermission feature with Nic Pierog, click here

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eagles 5 Express 4 (OT)

Jonah Renouf's flashy 3-on-3 overtime winner lifted the Eagles to a 5-4 home-ice victory over the Coquitlam Express Sunday.

Renouf collected the puck in neutral ice, then on an odd-man rush from the left wing crossed across the offensive zone, outwaiting netminder Gordie Defiel before back-handing a shot into the open net to help Surrey to their fourth consecutive home win.

Sunday's game had flashes of the offensive explosions that typified the two sides' late November home-and-home set, but it took a while for both teams to find their firepower.

Surrey opened the scoring at the tail end of a two-man advantage when Joseph Drapluk lifted home a shot over Defiel's shoulder from the bottom of the right-wing circle. Coquitlamtied the game minutes later when blueliner Cameron Marks cut goalward and redirected a hard pass from Adam Rockwood behind Eagles goaltender Devon Fordyce.

The Eagles took advantage of a miscue early in the second period. A pass toward Brett Mulcahy glanced off his stick at the Express line, then rolled in towards Defiel, who mishandled the puck in his crease allowing the Eagles captain to poke home his second goal of the weekend. Danton Heinen snapped home a sharp wrister 1:17 later to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead, the largest lead either side enjoyed in the game.

Coquitlam clawed back to level the score at 3-3, first when Jackson Cressey tipped in a shot from just outside the crease, then later on a short-handed breakaway from Corey Mackin.

Mackin would add a second goal on a 2-on-1 before Nic Pierog backhanded a high shot into the top corner with time winding down in the period.

Neither side was able to find an advantage in the third period, despite the Eagles enjoying a 10-6 shot advantage, setting the stage for Renouf's extra-time heroics.

Fordyce stopped 29 shots to record his second straight win as the Eagles moved to within four points of the third-place Express.

My Three Stars:
1. Danton Heinen, Surrey
2. Corey Mackin, Coquitlam
3. Brian Drapluk, Surrey

Up Next: Surrey has one game remaining before the holiday break, Thursday at home against the Prince George Spruce Kings. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Express

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Coquitlam Express
When: December 15, 4:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

TICKETS: surreyeagles.ca
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles could earn a four-point weekend with a victory against their division rivals from Coquitlam this afternoon at South Surrey Arena. The Eagles put together a strong team effort in Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Nanaimo Clippers, and got a late go-ahead goal from Danton Heinen and three-point effort from Nic Pierog to run their current home winning streak to three games.

Even more impressive was the Eagles defensive commitment Saturday. Devon Fordyce was strong in a 35-save effort but was the beneficiary of hard work in front of him. Many of Nanaimo's 36 shots were swallowed up by the 19 year-old Cochrane, Alberta product, who earned his sixth win as an Eagle Saturday.

I also thought Philippe Johansson in particular put together a stellar effort on Surrey's back end, standing up Clipper forwards and refusing to give up on the play if caught up-ice.

If past history is any indication, offense could be plentiful Sunday. The last two meetings alone saw Surrey and Coquitlam combine for 27 goals. Each team's strength lies with their respective forward group, and on the big ice at South Surrey Arena that could well result in a bevy of offensive opportunities.

Last Meeting: A wild encounter in Coquitlam saw the Express come away winners 9-6 on November 29th thanks in part to a hat-trick from Joey Santucci. Braedan Russell had a hat-trick of his own for the Eagles. Coquitlam leads the season series 4-2.

Our Opponent: Coquitlam is coming off a 6-3 home loss to the Nanaimo Clippers Friday night and will be eager to ward off the Eagles, who with a win today could climb back to within three points of the third-place Express. Second-year forward Adam Rockwood is the centrepiece on a flashy top six, though only 8 of his team-leading 41 points have been goals (he has 13 points against Surrey this season, leading all scorers in the series thus far). Barry Wolff's squad is the second highest-scoring team in the BCHL with 127 goals for; only the Penticton Vees have scored more. 20 year-old Gordie Defiel has been the goaltender of record in five of the six previous meetings, posting a 3-2 record.

In the Press Box: Neither side has any listed injuries.

Saturday Audio: If you missed it on last night's show, click here for a conversation with defenseman Brian Drapluk.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Eagles 3 Clippers 1

A terrific solo effort from Danton Heinen 2:49 from the end of regulation time helped the Eagles to a 3-1 home-ice victory over the Nanaimo Clippers Saturday in Surrey.

Heinen received a bank pass down the left wing, then cut around a Nanaimo defenseman before tucking a back-hander past Clippers goalie Jayson Argue for his fifteenth goal of the season, and third game-winner.

After a disappointing start to the weekend Friday, the Eagles flew out of the gate Saturday, peppering Argue with 16 shots. The Nanaimo netminder was strong, foiling the likes of Luke Sandler and Nathan Renouf from point-blank range in the opening frame.

Surrey found their breakthrough just past the midway mark of the second period, when on a power-play Nic Pierog rifled home a snapper past Argue's blocker.

The guests, though, found their legs in period two, outshooting Surrey 19-6 and finding an equalizer with 1:09 left in the frame when Edwin Hookenson's point shot caromed off two skates in the slot, catching Eagles starter Devon Fordyce by surprise.

Fordyce put in a strong effort Saturday, but was aided by a very workmanlike sixty minutes from the skaters in front of him, too. At the other end, Argue was unbeatable, until Heinen found the Eagles' go-ahead goal late in period three.

Pierog added an empty-netter in the dying moments.

Fordyce, making his first start in four games, stopped 35 of 36 Clipper shots to earn the victory.

My Three Stars:
1. Nic Pierog, Surrey
2. Jayson Argue, Nanaimo
3. Devon Fordyce, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles wind down the weekend Sunday with a divisional matchup at home against the Coquitlam Express. Game time is 4:00 pm. Join the team for a Sunday Skate following the game!

Nathan Renouf on BCHL This Week

Eagles forward Nathan Renouf was featured in this week's episode of Subway BCHL This Week, a feature that airs every Saturday morning at 9:30 on TEAM 1410 radio in Vancouver.

If you watched or listened to last night's game in Langley, you may have heard our conversation in the first intermission. If you missed it, click here to hear it in its entirety.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Clippers

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Nanaimo Clippers
When: December 14, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

TICKETS: surreyeagles.ca
Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

After a letdown in Langley Friday, the Eagles return home Saturday to host the Nanaimo Clippers in their only visit to South Surrey Arena this regular season. Surrey surrendered three short-handed goals in last night's 5-2 setback at Langley Events Centre in a physical affair, but bring a home form into tonight's fixture that has seen the team lose just once at South Surrey Arena since November 1st.

Brett Mulcahy marked his return to the lineup with a power-play goal last night and became the first Eagle to reach 20 tallies this season. Fellow veteran Nic Pierog is close behind; his penalty-shot marker last night puts him at 19 on the campaign.

Mulcahy's return coincided with that of Colton Mackie, who missed the last eight games. The local product was unlucky not to have scored Friday on a pair of clear-cut chances early in the second period.

Last Meeting: Tonight marks the first meeting betwen Surrey and Nanaimo since the Western Canada Cup. The Eagles came away victors April 30th at Frank Crane Arena, winning 4-0 on the strength of two Drew Best goals and a 31-save shutout from Michael Santaguida.

Our Opponent: The Clippers started their Mainland road swing on the right foot Friday, winning 6-3 in Coquitlam. Nanaimo (17-16-0-1) is entrenched in third place in the Island division, twelve points behind second-place Victoria and 8 points up on the fourth-place Cowichan Valley Capitals. Nanaimo boasts five skaters with 10 or more goals; Devin Brosseau and Bo Brauer lead the charge with 13 each. 20 year-old Jayson Argue has played the majority of minutes in goal and last month earned himself a commitment to Bentley University.

In the Press Box
: Neither side has any listed injuries.

Rivermen 5 Eagles 2

 Three short-handed goals helped the Langley Rivermen earn a 5-2 victory over the Surrey Eagles Friday at Langley Events Centre.

The home side scored four times in the second period to pick up their fifth straight victory over the Eagles, and send Surrey along to their second consecutive away defeat.

The two sides battled through an edgy, yet scoreless first period, with both teams renewing the hostilities shown during the last meeting on Remembrance Day.

Langley would open the scoring just shy of the eight-minute mark of period two on a power-play, when Matt Ustaski unleashed a one-timer over the shoulder of Eagles netminder Bo Didur from the low slot for the first of his two tallies on the night.

Langley would add a second goal while short-handed three-and-a-half minutes later when Mitch McLain was sprung loose on a breakaway on a long pass from blueliner Zach Urban. McLain faked forehand, and lifted a backhand shot over Didur for his 15th goal of the season.

Gage Torrel tipped home a point shot just over a minute after McLain's marker, before the Eagles were involved in a potentially controversial play in front of Rivermen keeper Brock Crossthwaite.

Surrey's Luke Sandler thought he'd scored when depositing a rebound into the open cage at 14:58, but the goal was immediately waved off by referee Duncan Brow for what was initially termed goaltender interference. Upon further review, it was determined Crossthwaite was knocked over by a sliding back-checker and the Eagles were awarded a penalty shot. Nic Pierog then rifled home a snapper into the top left corner of the net on the free breakaway to put Surrey on the board.

The Rivermen would strike again before period's end, again while short-handed. On an odd-man rush, Ustaski finished off a cross-crease pass from McLain to put Langley up 4-1 after two periods.

Surrey would mount a late comeback after being awarded a five-minute power-play after Langley's Jakob Reichert was ejected for a high hit on Eagles veteran Braedan Russell. The visitors, who welcomed back captain Brett Mulcahy and fellow 20 year-old Colton Mackie after both had been sidelined with injuries, found a power-play marker when Mulcahy's shot from in tight snuck through Crossthwaite.

Langley would restore their three-goal lead later in the Eagles man-advantage when Austin Azurdia chipped past a Surrey defender and slid the puck into the empty net.

Surrey outshot Langley 28-26 on the night, but dropped their third straight decision at Langley Events Centre this season.

My Three Stars:
1. Matt Ustaski, Langley
2. Mitch McLain, Langley
3. Nic Pierog, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles return home Saturday to face the Nanaimo Clippers at South Surrey Arena. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gameday: Eagles @ Rivermen

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Langley Rivermen
When: December 13, 7:15 pm
Where: Langley Events Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles look to reap the rewards of a hard-working week of practice as they kick off a three-game weekend Friday in Langley. Surrey, idle since last Saturday's loss in Penticton, went through several up-tempo practices in advance of crucial divisional matchups against the Rivermen and Express this weekend, split with the lone visit of the Nanaimo Clippers Saturday.

Friday, Surrey faces the division leaders with an eye on recapturing their offensive flair. The Eagles have been limited to one goal in each of the last three meetings with Langley, despite being the second highest-scoring team in the Mainland division. Red-hot Danton Heinen, who scored three times last weekend, leads a voracious second line with points in each of his last six games and nine of the past ten overall.

At the other end of the ice, Surrey could well hand a start to Devon Fordyce between the pipes after rookie Bo Didur carried the load in the Interior last weekend. Fordyce and Didur have played only two of the five meetings between the Eagles and Rivermen this season.

Both sides will remember the last meeting's extracurricular activities, too, notably a late first-period set-to that netted suspensions and a heap of penalty minutes. The Mainland division boasts the top two teams in terms of times short-handed (Chilliwack and Langley, Surrey is twelfth). Don't be surprised to see both clubs' special-teams put to work Friday.

Last Meeting: The Rivermen took home a 2-1 victory through a Marcus Vela game-winner in a physical Remembrance Day matinee on November 11th. Langley has won the last four meetings between the two sides and leads the season series 4-1.

Our Opponent: The first-place Rivermen will surely be looking to increase the three-point gap between themselves and second-place Prince George before the holiday break. The first Mainland team to reach 20 wins, Langley is led offensively by captain Mitch McLain (14-18-32), while former Coquitlam set-up man Will Cook sits second in team scoring four points back (Cook, by the way, leads all scorers in the Surrey/Langley season series with 7 points). Head coach Bobby Henderson re-jigged his goaltending tandem recently, picking up former Chiefs and Smoke Eaters netminder Lyndon Stanwood at the December 1st deadline. Stanwood beat his former Trail mates in his Rivermen debut last Friday.

In the Press Box: Neither side has any listed injuries.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Vees 7 Eagles 1

The Penticton Vees got goals from six different players, and Olivier Mantha made 31 saves to backstop his side to a 7-1 victory over the Surrey Eagles Saturday.

The home side took advantage of bounces in the offensive zone, and locked things down defensively as the Eagles return home from the Okanagan with a weekend split.

Penticton opened the scoring 8 minutes into the game when Ben Dalpe put home a rebound from the right circle. Captain, and leading scorer Brad McClure put the hosts up 2-0 toward the end of the period, rifling a cross-zone one-timer on a Vees power-play.

Penticton added three goals in the second period, all from point shots that were redirected in front of Surrey starter Bo Didur. First, Blake Butzow scored his first goal in the league, before Didur's former major midget team-mate Anthony Conti and blueliner Brett Beauvais added middle-frame markers to put Penticton up 5-0 after 40 minutes.

Matthew Serratore put the Vees up 6-0 shortly after a Surrey penalty-kill early in period three, converting a cross-crease feed from linemate Jack Ramsey at the right post.

Surrey's Danton Heinen broke Mantha's shutout bid later in the period, tapping a rebound through the Penticton goaltender's legs after an inital save on Joseph Drapluk.

McClure rounded out the scoring in the dying minutes on a sharp wrist-shot from the slot, as the Vees won the first meeting between the two sides since the 2013 Fred Page Cup final.

My Three Stars:
1. Brad McClure, Penticton
2. Olivier Mantha, Penticton
3. Ben Dalpe, Penticton

Up Next
: Surrey is idle until Friday, December 13th when they pay a visit to the Langley Rivermen.

Saturday Audio: Click here to hear my conversation with defenseman Matt Dawson, which aired in tonight's first intermission.

Gameday: Eagles @ Vees

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Penticton Vees
When: December 7, 6:00 pm
Where: South Okanagan Events Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles and Vees meet tonight for the first time since Surrey claimed the Fred Page Cup in the South Okanagan this past April. Many of the contestants in that BCHL final series have moved on, but there's no question Saturday's matchup will bring back memories of Surrey's fifth league championship.

Both teams come in having won on the road Friday, Surrey doing so in dramatic fashion in West Kelowna. After trailing 3-1 in the third period, the Eagles' offense clicked three times inside five minutes to earn a 4-3 victory at Royal Lepage Place. Luke Sandler's rebound effort 4:28 from the end of regulation proved to be the difference as the Eagles won their third game in four outings.

The young Eagles will take real confidence in limiting a high-scoring West Kelowna club to three goals last night. Rookie Bo Didur's 32-save effort included stops that bordered on the impossible, and the likes of Brian Drapluk and Matt Dawson translated a hard-working effort in the defensive zone to a pair of points each at the other end of the ice. The Eagles' power-play was good, too; its 22.2% rating away from the South Surrey Arena is good for fourth in the BCHL.

Last Meeting: Adam Tambellini's overtime winner lifted Surrey to the top of the heap in the BCHL on April 21st. The Vees and Eagles won't conclude this year's season series until February 8th in Surrey.

Our Opponent: Fred Harbinson has again built a quality squad in Penticton, and the Vees come into tonight's game first in the Interior division with 41 points. Captain Brad McClure leads a veteran-laden offense that now includes former Smoke Eater Brendan Lamont and ex-Capital Steen Cooper. Only Powell River have conceded fewer goals than Penticton's 77, but the Vees blueline possesses some pop as well led by Brett Beauvais' 40 points. 20 year-old Olivier Mantha and 18 year-old Hunter Miska have shared duties between the pipes, and both have save percentages over 90%.

In the Press Box: Brett Mulcahy, Colton Mackie and Ryan Fraser-Lee miss out for the Eagles. Penticton forward Travis Blanleil sits out after incurring a suspension earlier in the week.

Friday Audio: If you missed it on last night's show, click here for a conversation with forward Braedan Russell.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Eagles 4 Warriors 3

Luke Sandler buried a rebound 4:28 from the end of the third period to help the Eagles to a 4-3, come-from-behind victory in West Kelowna Friday.

Surrey erased a two-goal deficit in the final ten minutes to pick up their third triumph in four games and start the two-game Interior swing off on a winning note.

The host Warriors came out of the gate flying, outshooting the Eagles 13-2 in the opening frame but were unable to beat Surrey starter Bo Didur. West Kelowna found their opener 7:45 into the second when Reid Simmonds jumped off the bench, snuck down the left side and beat Didur with a backhand shot.

Surrey's special teams were again strong Friday, and it was the power-play that found the equalizer when Jonah Renouf slotted a wrist shot home through traffic at 9:28. But the Eagles would find themselves trailing after fourty minutes when Seb Lloyd found the back of the net after a wild series of events in front of Didur that forced acrobatic saves both from him and defenseman Michael McEachern.

West Kelowna took advantage of a Surrey miscue off the opening faceoff in period three, when Tyson Dallman gobbled up a loose puck at the side of the net, feeding captain Matt Anholt in the slot just 11 seconds into the frame, giving the Warriors a 3-1 lead.

But Surrey remained tenacious in the defensive zone and on the penalty-kill, and saved their best for the final half of period three. The visitors cut the lead to 3-2 at 10:48 when Danton Heinen bashed home a puck that ricocheted to him off the glove of a Warrior defenseman.

Then, minutes later on a power-play, Heinen would strike again, re-directing Kale Bennett's blast from the left point over the shoulder of goaltender Andy Desautels for his second goal of the period, tying the game at 3-3.

26 seconds later, Sandler found a winner after crashing the net and scooping up the rebound off Brian Drapluk's slapper from mid-point.

Didur made 32 saves to record the win, while Desautels stopped 26 Surrey shots for the Warriors.

My Three Stars:
1. Jonah Renouf, Surrey
2. Matt Anholt, West Kelowna
3. Matt Dawson, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles visit Penticton in a Fred Page Cup final rematch Saturday. Note the earlier-than-usual start time of 6:00 PM.

Gameday: Eagles @ Warriors

Who: Surrey Eagles @ West Kelowna Warriors
When: December 6, 7:00 pm
Where: Royal Lepage Place

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

A challenging, two-game Okanagan swing begins Friday in West Kelowna as the Eagles continue a stretch of four straight games away from South Surrey Arena.

Surrey has had a week to ponder an home and home series against Coquitlam that brought back memories of the 1980s, as the two teams combined for 27 goals in two games, the most recent of which being a 9-6 Express triumph last Friday night.

Nobody in Eagles silks has been hotter of late than Jonah and Nathan Renouf. The twins have put up points in each of their last five games, combining for 11 points in the home-and-home set with Coquitlam. Overager Braedan Russell has been the beneficiary of their playmaking abilities, as he looks to ride the momentum of a hat-trick from Surrey's last outing into tonight's matchup.

Watch for Surrey to try to kickstart its offensive production from the back end tonight. Aside from rookie Matthew Dawson, no Eagle defenseman has more than 7 points this season. A shot in the arm for this young blueline could also prove to be inspirational in the defensive zone, as Surrey will look to tighten things up in front of Devon Fordyce and Bo Didur.

Last Meeting: The Warriors scored three times in the third period, twice through Tyson Dallman, to nip Surrey 5-3 at South Surrey Arena October 27th. The season-series is tied 1-1 after the Eagles posted a 3-0 shutout over West Kelowna at the Bauer Showcase in September.

Our Opponent: Despite being 5 games over .500, the Warriors find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture entering play Friday in the vise-tight Interior Conference. Not only that, the Warriors have the fourth fewest goals against (87) in the BCHL, but find themselves locked in a battle for positioning with Salmon Arm and Merritt, both of whom have two points more than the Warriors' 33. Imports Jason Cotton and Carl Hesler lead a potent top-six with 31 points each, while former Prince Albert netminder Andy Desautels has earned the lion's share of minutes in goal. The Warriors have made changes to their blueline recently including the acquisition of former Eagle Zane Schartz from Brooks of the AJHL. Schartz scored a goal and an assist in Surrey's 3-0 over West Kelowna on September 6th.

In the Press Box: Neither team has any listed injuries.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Friday Audio

If you missed it during Friday's show, click here for a chat with rookie forward Danton Heinen. The 18 year-old put up four points in Surrey's 7-5 victory over the Express including a penalty shot goal late in the second period. This season, Heinen sits tied for fifth in rookie scoring with 27 points (11-16-27) after spending last season in the PJHL (and as an affiliate player with Merritt).