Friday, January 31, 2014

Eagles 5 Chiefs 2

The Surrey Eagles moved to within a win of clinching a 2014 post-season playoff berth after a 5-2 victory over Chilliwack Friday at South Surrey Arena.

Four Eagles; Danton Heinen, Chase McMurphy, Nathan Renouf and Matt Dawson, enjoyed multi-point games, while Devon Fordyce made 25 saves to push the Eagles to their fourth win in five outings.

After an early penalty kill, the Eagles found the opening goal 11:31 into the opening frame when Anthony Conti tucked home a low shot off a centring pass from Heinen. It was perhaps poetic justice for Conti, who had been robbed by Chilliwack netminder Josh Halpenny from point-blank range only moments prior.

The Eagles came alive offensively in period two with a trio of goals, first off the stick of Renouf who converted a back-door pass from linemate Braedan Russell for his 13th goal of the season. Heinen added Surrey's third goal 1:38 later when he was sprung down the right-wing side on a hard pass from Philippe Johansson.

McMurphy capitalized on a hard centring feed from Renouf later in the frame for his tenth of the season to put Surrey ahead 4-0 after fourty minutes.

Chilliwack, undaunted, found a goal early in the third frame to break Fordyce's shutout bid, when Mathieu Tibbet raced down the left wing and snapped a shot over the Eagle goaltender's right shoulder for his team-leading 19th goal of the season.

Surrey answered back less than a minute later, though, when Austin Ferguson backhanded home a rebound after blueliner Matt Dawson rifled a point blast off Halpenny's left post.

Chiefs rookie Jordan Kawaguchi rounded out Friday's scoring, converting on a two-on-one rush with 4:55 remaining in the third period.

With the victory, Surrey avenged a post-holiday home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Chiefs, and moved to within a game of ensuring participation in the 2013-14 BCHL playoffs.

The two teams combined for a dozen power-plays Friday, but neither side was able to capitalize on the man-advantage.

My Three Stars:
1. Danton Heinen, Surrey
2. Chase McMurphy, Surrey
3. Nathan Renouf, Surrey

Up Next: The two sides meet again Saturday evening in Chilliwack. Game time is 7:00 pm at Prospera Centre.

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