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.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Chiefs

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
When: January 31, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles can step one pace closer to clinching a playoff berth with a win tonight against the Chilliwack Chiefs. A weekend sweep would clinch the fourth seed in the Mainland division for Surrey, who enter play 16 points up on the Chiefs with 10 games left in the regular season.

Surrey will be feeling extra confident after a hard-working 5-2 triumph over Coquitlam two nights ago, highlighted by a four-point effort from forward Braedan Russell. Devon Fordyce celebrated his 20th birthday a day late with a 37-save performance in goal, remaining steady as the Express pressed during the final fourty minutes Wednesday night.

Tonight, the Eagles face a more physical group in Chilliwack, and in order to find success this evening will need to match that intensity. Surrey outhit the Express Wednesday (the exclamation mark perhaps coming in the second period when Anthony Conti levelled BCHL assist leader Adam Rockwood), and will need to carry that momentum forward into a tough matchup against Harvey Smyl's Chiefs tonight.

This evening's game is also Surrey's stop on the BCHL Five Hole for Food Challenge. The Eagles, and Five Hole for Food, will be accepting non-perishable food donations in support of the Surrey Food Bank at tonight's game.

Last Meeting: The Chiefs dampened Surrey's holiday spirits with a home-and-home sweep December 28th and 29th, winning the latter game 5-2 at Prospera Centre. Chilliwack leads the season series 4-1.

Our Opponent: The Chiefs will be bolstered by the presence of friends and family as they celebrate Parents Weekend tonight and tomorrow. Chilliwack, like Surrey, made moves at the deadline, parting ways with shifty scorer Austin Plevy (AJHL Brooks) and hefty blueliner Cooper Rush (Prince George), but bring a hard-working crew to South Surrey Arena tonight in search of their fifth victory in six tries against the Eagles. D-man Carter Cochrane, who recently signed with Everett in the WHL, leads the Chiefs in scoring with 13 goals and 37 points, while overage forward Mathieu Tibbet is the top forward scorer with 36. 18 year-old Josh Halpenny is expected to get the nod in goal tonight for Chilliwack; cohort Spencer Tremblay was the goaltender of record in each of the last two meetings.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eagles 5 Express 2

Three first-period goals, and a 37-save performance from Devon Fordyce, paced the Eagles to a 5-2 victory over the Coquitlam Express Wednesday at South Surrey Arena.

20 year-old Braedan Russell finished the game with three points, while Kale Bennett's wrister held up as the winner as the Eagles won their third game in the past four outings, and posted their third consecutive home victory over the Express.

Surrey opened the scoring 6:54 into the opening frame when Darius Davidson banged a rebound past Dushenko after linemate Austin Ferguson sent a puck goalward off a won faceoff in the Coquitlam zone. It was the Semiahmoo minor hockey product's first goal on home ice this season.

Surrey added a second goal 58 seconds later when Russell rifled home the first of his two goals, lacing the puck into the top right corner of Dushenko's net off a sharp wrister from the left-wing circle. Bennett gave the hosts a 3-0 lead just past the midway mark of the period when his low snapper snuck past Dushenko and rolled over the goalline.

The Express, minus captain Ryan Rosenthal and three regular blueliners, were game Wednesday, and answered back on a two-on-one rush just shy of the midpoint of the second period. Bo Pieper one-timed a pass from brother Canon from the right circle, beating an outstretched Fordyce for his 21st goal of the season.

But Russell would answer back quickly, angling a hard pass from Jonah Renouf into the top corner of the net from just outside the Coquitlam crease to give Surrey a 4-1 lead.

Again, the Express pressed in the third, and again they found the back of the net when Jace Hennig raced to the side of Fordyce's goal and jammed a rebound home. Renouf would round out the scoring with less than four minutes left in the game, accepting a pass in neutral ice from Russell, then cutting around an Express blueliner before flicking the puck into the top corner over Dushenko's left shoulder.

Surrey finished the game on a lengthy power-play after Coquitlam forward Joey Santucci was ejected for a checking from behind major on Eagles rookie Michael McEachern.

Like last Friday in Trail, Fordyce again was rock-solid between the pipes for Surrey, exhibiting poise as well as taking advantage of committed defensive work in front of him. The Eagles brought a physical edge, too, accented by a second-period check by Anthony Conti that sent Express leading scorer, and recent Wisconsin commit, Adam Rockwood flying. With regulation-time victories in their next two games, the Eagles can mathematically clinch a playoff berth.

My Three Stars:
1. Braedan Russell, Surrey
2. Devon Fordyce, Surrey
3. Darius Davidson, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles begin a home-and-home set with the Chilliwack Chiefs Friday at South Surrey Arena. As part of Five Hole for Food night, the Eagles will be collecting non-perishable food donations for the Surrey Food Bank at Friday's game.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Express

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Coquitlam Express
When: January 29, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

A season series that's seen just about everything draws to a close tonight as the Eagles host Coquitlam. Surrey and the Express have combined for an average of near 9 and-a-half goals per game in the 8 previous meetings, with hat-tricks, penalty shots and lacrosse-esque scores not out of the ordinary.

Tonight, the focus for the Eagles is on continuing their march toward securing a playoff berth after a weekend split in the Interior. Surrey were sublime in a 3-0 shutout Friday in Trail and nearly overcame an early three-goal deficit in a 5-4 setback in Salmon Arm Saturday. A sweep against the Express and Chiefs this week would clinch post-season qualification for the Birds, though the club is certainly cogniscent of the fact that Coquitlam and Chilliwack (who Surrey faces in a home-and-home set Friday and Saturday) are far from easy opponents.

With three games under his belt since returning from injury, Jonah Renouf has picked up where he left off for the Eagles. He, brother Nathan and linemate Braedan Russell combined for eight points Saturday in Salmon Arm, and have been deadly on the power-play in recent outings too.

Last Meeting: Another high-scoring affair in Coquitlam ended in a 7-3 Express victory two Wednesdays ago. The Express lead the season series 5-3, though the teams have split the four prior meetings in Surrey this year.

Our Opponent: The Express will have been thankful for a pair of days' rest after a busy weekend that netted three of six points. Coquitlam edged Merritt at home Friday before a tie and a defeat Saturday and Sunday in Prince George in a three-game stint that netted close to 2,000 kilometres travelled. Despite the weary schedule, Coquitlam did clinch a playoff berth and come into tonight's game hoping to track down the second-place Spruce Kings in the Mainland division. The Express are 6 points back of P.G. with both teams having 12 games left to play.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

SilverBacks 5 Eagles 4

Two third-period goals from Taylor Maruya helped quell a wild Eagles comeback as Salmon Arm edged Surrey 5-4 Saturday in the Shuswap.

The Eagles overcame a 3-0 second-period deficit, but had to settle for a weekend split on their Interior road swing.

The hosts took the lead just past the 8-minute mark when Jeff Kennedy banged home a loose puck at the side of the Eagles net, then doubled their lead six minutes later when former Eagle Michael Roberts beat Surrey netminder Devon Fordyce.

Salmon Arm increased their advantage to 3-0 early in the second when Maruya found linemate Thomas Plese in space for a wrist-shot at the left-wing circle.

Undaunted, Surrey began their comeback just over a minute later thanks to Nathan Renouf, who extended his goal streak to three games by beating Salmon Arm goaltender Angus Redmond.

The Eagles added two more goals in the final half of the second period, first from Anthony Conti, then through Jonah Renouf with 2:36 remaining in the frame. The Renouf twins combined for six points Saturday with each brother picking up a goal and two assists.

Maruya gave the SilverBacks the lead again 5:14 into the third period on an unassisted marker, but again, the Eagles found a way to get back to level pegging with 5:17 remaining when Braedan Russell converted at the left post after a wild scramble in front of Redmond.

But the night was not over for Maruya. Just sixteen seconds after the tying goal, the Californian fired home a low shot from the left-wing circle to give Salmon ARm a lead they would not relinquish.

Redmond made 30 saves for Salmon Arm to record the victory, while Fordyce stopped 29 shots for the Eagles.

Up Next: The Eagles return home to face Coquitlam Wednesday at South Surrey Arena. Wednesday night's game is also a Raincheck Night, meaning any un-used season tickets can be re-deemed for entry at the Eagles box office. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Gameday: Eagles @ SilverBacks

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Salmon Arm SilverBacks
When: January 25, 7:00 pm
Where: Shaw Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: NONE

After a 3-0 shutout win last night in Trail, the Eagles will try for a third straight victory when they visit the SilverBacks tonight in Salmon Arm. Devon Fordyce stopped 31 shots Friday as the Eagles avenged an earlier loss to the Smoke Eaters with a tidy performance at Cominco Arena.

Tonight, Surrey faces one of only two remaining BCHL teams against whom they have yet to play a game this season (Victoria being the other). No doubt the Eagles will carry plenty of momentum into tonight's matchup at Shaw Centre, but in doing so must be cogniscent of their opponent's offensive firepower.

An Interior division connection might well be the spark Surrey needs up front tonight. Former Viper Chase McMurphy and former Vee Anthony Conti teamed up on a pretty power-play goal in last night's second period, and through their time in the Interior division this season will know tonight's opponent better than most. Their line with new captain Danton Heinen has morphed into the Eagles' #1 unit, and each of the three forwards have put up points in five of Surrey's last six games.

As a unit, Surrey would also do well to continue the type of defensive commitment exhibited last night in Trail, too. The Smoke Eaters were granted few second-chance opportunities on Fordyce save on the man-advantage, and to a man the Eagles seemed committed to clearing space in front of their netminder.

Both teams are looking to lock down the fourth and final playoff berths in their respective divisions. Needless to say, the points tonight are important.

Last Meeting: Tonight marks the first meeting between the two sides since a 2-1 Surrey overtime victory January 27th, 2013 at South Surrey Arena. The Eagles won both matchups last season, both on Jordan Klimek extra-time winners.

Our Opponent: Salmon Arm were idle Friday, and enter tonight's game only two points ahead of fifth-place Merritt in the dogfight for the Interior playoff places. The SilverBacks top line is as good as any in the BCHL, featuring league scoring leader Landon Smith (68 points) and Michigan Tech commits Alex Gillies and Evan Anderson alongside him. The SilverBacks have the luxury of having two NCAA Division I-committed netminders too, with 20 year-old Adam Clark earning the lion's share of the workload between the pipes this season. Former Eagle Michael Roberts faces Surrey for the first time tonight since a December trade that saw him make one appearance for Trail as well.

In the Press Box: Forwards Mitchell Fyffe and Colton Mackie miss out again this evening for the Eagles. Salmon Arm have no players listed as injured.

Eagles 3 Smoke Eaters 0

Devon Fordyce earned first-star honours for his show-stopping performance at Cominco Arena. Thanks to Randy Emery for the photos.

A night of firsts for two Eagles helped Surrey to a 3-0 shutout victory in Trail Friday night.

Brian Drapluk's first-period marker, his first in the BCHL, held up as the game-winner, while goaltender Devon Fordyce stopped all 31 Smoke Eaters shots to record his first BCHL shutout, as the Eagles began their Interior division road swing in style with a smart, business-like performance.

A wild first period was accented by Drapluk when, on a Surrey power-play, he sent a low shot goalward that re-directed off a Trail stick past the left shoulder of goaltender Adam Todd. Both sides came out of the gate flying, but Todd and Fordyce stood their ground, combining for 26 saves in the opening frame as Trail outshot Surrey 14-13.

The Eagles enjoyed much longer spells of possession in period two, forcing Todd into several more reaction saves before, on another power-play, they found a breakthrough second goal off the stick of Chase McMurphy. The 19 year-old fired home a shot from just outside the crease after a pretty set-up feed from across the blue paint by Anthony Conti.

Trail would not go quietly, but could not beat Fordyce on four third-period power-plays, including a 70-second two-man advantage early on. The Eagles goaltender was positionally sound all game long and kept his few rebounds manageable as the home side pressed.

Surrey rounded out the scoring late in period three when Jonah Renouf set up his brother Nathan for a one-timer from the Trail slot. The Eagles outshot the Smoke Eaters 38-31.

My Three Stars:
1. Devon Fordyce, Surrey
2. Brian Drapluk, Surrey
3. Adam Todd, Trail

Up Next: The Eagles complete their Interior division trip Saturday in Salmon Arm. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gameday: Eagles @ Smoke Eaters

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Trail Smoke Eaters
When: January 24, 7:30 pm
Where: Cominco Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

Surrey begins its final Interior road swing of the regular season with a stop in Trail tonight. It's a chance for redemption for the Eagles after the Smoke Eaters handed them a rare home loss a week ago; tonight's matchup also marks an opportunity to build on the momentum of a thrilling 5-4 overtime victory over Langley last Sunday.

The Renouf twins came through with a clutch goal yet again Sunday, with Nathan deflecting home Phil Johansson's point shot in overtime to give the Eagles their first win in 16 days. Nathan and Jonah Renouf lead the team in game-winning goals with four apiece, and will surely be hungry to improve their point totals within the cramped confines of Trail's Cominco Arena.

After a long travel day Thursday, the team should have plenty of jump ahead of Friday's faceoff, and would do well to get off to a fast start against the Smoke Eaters tonight. Surrey has opened the scoring only seven times through 23 games away from home, but hold a 5-2 record when doing so and a 6-1 win-loss tally when leading after the opening period.

The Eagles will again rely on production from affiliate players this weekend, including forward Matt Houston, who impressed during a two-game stint in Prince George earlier this month, and centreman Spencer Unger, who has put together solid performances during recent call-ups both at home and on the road.

Last Meeting: Three early second-period goals paced Trail to a 5-3 win last Friday at South Surrey Arena. Tonight marks the final meeting of the season between the two sides.

Our Opponent: Despite being officially eliminated from playoff contention Sunday, the Smokies are far from a pushover, as the Eagles found out a week ago. Nick Deschenes' group plays a hard-working, opportunistic game, and certainly the Trail players are well aware that their late-season performances could translate into jobs next year. Goaltender Adam Todd put forth a strong performance when the two sides met last Friday night, stopping 36 of 39 shots.

In the Press Box: Forwards Mitchell Fyffe and Colton Mackie miss out for the Eagles. Trail's captain Adam Wheeldon and leading scorer Jesse Knowler both missed out on the Smoke Eaters' Mainland trip last weekend.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Eagles 5 Rivermen 4 (OT)

Nathan Renouf played overtime hero, and Devon Fordyce stopped 40 shots as the Eagles edged the Langley Rivermen 5-4 in overtime Sunday at South Surrey Arena.

The victory snapped a five-game winless skid for Surrey, as the Eagles moved 14 points up on Chilliwack for the final playoff berth in the Mainland division.

Surrey opened the scoring late in the first period on a delayed penalty call when Danton Heinen, from the goalline, found the far side of Brock Crossthwaite's net for his 20th goal of the season. Langley equalized on a Charlie Pelnik point shot 95 seconds later, sending the two teams to the intermission square at a goal apiece.

The hosts would use point shots to their own advantage in period two, though. Heinen re-directed a Matt Dawson blast 3:36 into the second to give Surrey a 2-1 lead, then on a power-play Dawson would find the back of the net after a Chase McMurphy one-timer pass at 16:00.

Langley's Jakob Reichert clawed the visitors a goal closer after the Rivermen were thwarted on an odd-man rush, and the Eagles took a 3-2 lead into the third period.

McMurphy put Surrey back up by two near the mid-point of period three. After the Rivermen gave the puck away at the Eagles blue line, the Chestermere, Alberta product was sent down the right wing where he slapped the puck through Crossthwaite for his second goal in as many games.

Undaunted, Langley would find a way to force overtime with a pair of rebound goals, first from Tyson Witala then a power-play marker off the stick of James Robinson. Eagles netminder Devon Fordyce stopped 40 shots Sunday, 19 alone in the third period as the Rivermen pressed offensively.

Overtime would present another opportunity for Surrey to climb back into the win column, though, and it was the Renoufs, reunited after a five-game absence for Jonah, who would take advantage. After Jonah gained the offensive zone, Nathan Renouf deflected home Philippe Johansson's point shot past Crossthwaite's left arm, giving the Eagles their first win in 16 days.

Four Eagles; Heinen, Anthony Conti, Dawson, and McMurphy enjoyed multi-point games, while Fordyce earned his ninth win of the season in goal.

My Three Stars:
1. Danton Heinen, Surrey
2. Jakob Reichert, Langley
3. Matt Dawson, Surrey

Up Next: Surrey begins a two-game Interior swing Friday with a rematch against Trail.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Rivermen

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Langley Rivermen
When: January 19, 4:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

After a disappointing loss Friday, the Eagles wrap up the weekend, and the season series against their divisional rivals from Langley this afternoon. Surrey were beaten on home ice 5-3 by the Trail Smoke Eaters two nights ago; after falling behind by three goals early in the second period the Eagles were unable to complete the comeback against the plucky Smokies.

Langley enters today's game as one of the form teams in the BCHL, with six straight victories. Conversely, the Eagles have dropped each of their last five contests and look to right the ship this afternoon.

The Eagles, though, are expected to welcome back playmaker Jonah Renouf today. The 19 year-old makes his return to the lineup after suffering an injury January 3rd against the Cowichan Valley Capitals, and will bring some firepower to the Eagles' top-six. Jonah, his twin brother Nathan and overager Braedan Russell had been showing some serious chemistry before the holiday break, no doubt head coach Peter Schaefer and his staff would like to see that energy and offensive prowess re-kindled.

Last Meeting: Langley took home a 5-1 decision January 4th at the Langley Events Centre and leads the season series 6-1. Today marks the first meeting between the two sides in Surrey since Remembrance Day.

Our Opponent: The Rivermen became the first team in the BCHL to clinch a playoff berth last weekend and come into today's game on the heels of a 3-2 overtime win over Trail last night. Langley currently sits six points up on second-place Prince George, and their +32 goal differential is good enough for fifth spot in the BCHL. Captain Mitch McLain leads the way offensively with 48 points but perhaps a bigger story in the season series has been the play of netminder Brock Crossthwaite, who comes into today's meeting with a 5-0 record against Surrey and a 17-7 win-loss tally overall.

In the Press Box: Surrey's Mitch Fyffe is questionable after missing the last three games. Langley have no listed injuries.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Smoke Eaters 5 Eagles 3

Bryan Basilico's wrist shot 7:53 into the second period held up as the game winner, as Trail dispatched the Eagles 5-3 Friday night in Surrey.

Basilico rifled a puck into the top corner of the Surrey goal from the high slot, at the time putting the visitors up 4-1 before the Eagles put together a late rally that fell just short.

Sean Davies opened the scoring 1:36 into the game when he was found in the slot on an odd-man rush. He snapped a shot just over the right pad of fellow Albertan Devon Fordyce for his third goal of the year.

Kale Bennett answered for Surrey just under twelve minutes later on an Eagles od-d-man rush when he cranked a shot just beneath the cross-bar after a nifty feed from Anthony Conti.

The Smoke Eaters came out flying to start the second, though, scoring three times inside eight minutes. First, Jake Lucchini fired home a rebound from the right side on a Trail power-play 3:01 in, before Dylan Mascarin found a loose puck at Fordyce's feet, jamming in his second goal of the season less than two minutes later.

Basilico put the Smokies up 4-1 when Surrey began to press harder offensively, eventually beating Trail netminder Adam Todd a second time when Austin Ferguson took advantage of a turnover and efforted home a second-chance puck in the crease

The Eagles continued to press, but were denied by several stellar Todd saves before Chase McMurphy banged a loose puck past his right toe on a Surrey power-play late in the third period.

But despite enjoying a large amount of offensive zone pressure with an extra attacker on the ice, the hosts could not find an equalizer, instead crediting Basilico with his second goal of the game when his shot veered toward the empty net and was called a goal after a Surrey player threw his stick.

The Eagles outshot the Smokies 39-37, and 23-11 in the final thirty minutes of the game.

My Three Stars:
1. Bryan Basilico, Trail
2. Chase McMurphy, Surrey
3. Adam Todd, Trail

Up Next: The Eagles will host the Langley Rivermen to close out the weekend Sunday. Game time is 4:00 at South Surrey Arena.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Smoke Eaters

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Trail Smoke Eaters
When: January 17, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

Two teams in transition meet tonight in Surrey as the Eagles host the Trail Smoke Eaters for the only time this season. Surrey returns home following a four-game stretch away from South Surrey Arena, and go into tonight's matchup in search of their first victory since January 3rd.

The Eagles dropped a 7-3 decision Wednesday in Coquitlam in a game that saw the Express capitalize on second chances in front of the net, and will be eager to return to South Surrey Arena, a place they've lost only twice since November 1st.

Forwards Chase McMurphy and Anthony Conti make their home debut this evening. McMurphy, an Alaska-Fairbanks commit, returns to international ice after playing each of his first three Junior "A" seasons on a similar surface as a member of the AJHL's Calgary Mustangs. Conti, a North Vancouver product, has collected points in each of his first four games as an Eagle.

Perhaps no current Eagle has been better on home ice than Danton Heinen. Surrey's leading scorer has put home 12 of his 19 goals this campaign on home ice, and was one of three Eagles (Braedan Russell and Nate Renouf the others) to put up a multi-point effort Wednesday.

Wednesday's disappointment aside, Surrey should remain confident of their ability to give Coquitlam a run for third place in the Mainland division. The Eagles enter play tonight six points back of the Express, and certainly will take stock in recent home success in their efforts to close that gap.

Last Meeting: The two sides haven't met since January 4th of last year, when a pair of third-period goals from Brady Shaw lifted the Eagles to a 6-3 win in Trail. Surrey swept the two-game season series last campaign. The last two games in Surrey between the two sides have gone to overtime, with Surrey winning 5-4 on a Devon Toews hat-trick the last time Trail visited the South Surrey Arena.

Our Opponent: The Smokies have endured a season of change on and off the ice, and come into tonight's game with only eight wins to their credit. Head coach Nick Deschenes has put together a young, hungry team as he rebuilds for the future, continuing his wheeling and dealing at last week's deadline by trading veterans Travis Stephens and Braden Pears to Victoria and West Kelowna, respectively. Jesse Knowler inherits the team scoring lead with 23 points while American import Bryan Basilico leads the team in goals with 8. Trail has had success at South Surrey Arena in recent years, winning three times in their last four visits.

In the Press Box
: Surrey's Jonah Renouf misses his fifth consecutive game tonight. The Smoke Eaters have no listed injuries.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Express 7 Eagles 3

Three different Express forwards enjoyed multi-goal games as Coquitlam took a 7-3 decision from the Eagles Wednesday at Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre.

Corey Mackin, Canon Pieper and Ryan Rosenthal each chipped in with a pair of goals as Coquitlam took its third straight home-ice decision against Surrey, and restored a six-point advantage over the Eagles for the Mainland division's third seed.

The hosts jumped out of the gate with a pair of power-play goals off rebounds, first when Mackin pounced on a loose puck at the left-wing post 3:56 in, then again on Pieper's conversion on a goal-mouth scramble 5:01 later.

The Eagles, undaunted, were able to tie the game at 2-2 before the end of the opening frame, though. Surrey found its first goal on an odd-man rush when leading scorer Danton Heinen looked off his linemate while rushing down the right wing, then snapped a quick wrister into the top left corner of Gordie Defiel's goal.

Nathan Renouf put home Surrey's second goal in the final minute of the opening period, roofing a back-hand wraparound attempt from close range.

The second period continued to be Surrey's nemesis Wednesday, though, with Coquitlam capitalizing on two more scrambles in front of netminder Bo Didur inside the first twelve minutes of the middle frame. Jace Hennig put the hosts ahead before Pieper added his second goal of the night at 11:46.

Surrey thought they'd clawed a goal back one more time minutes later on a powerful rush to the front of the net by Anthony Conti, but the goal was waved off by referee Ryan O'Keeffe on account of goaltender interference.

Coquitlam added a fifth goal 2:46 from the end of period two when Mackin strode down the left wing and snapped a shot through Didur's legs.

Express playmaker Adam Rockwood showed off his abilities in the opening half of the third period, setting up captain Rosenthal on a pair of goals to widen the gap. First, Rosenthal was sprung down the right wing where he rifled a wrist-shot into the top corner from the circle, then less than four minutes later was sent in alone on a breakaway pass from Rockwood where, from just outside the crease he cut sharply to the backhand and tucked the puck into the Surrey net.

Braedan Russell added a consolation marker late on a Surrey power-play, ripping a wrist shot up top after a hard pass from Conti, who was positioned in the left-wing corner.

Heinen, Renouf and Russell all had multi-point games for Surrey, while Rockwood led all scorers with four assists.

My Three Stars:
1. Canon Pieper, Coquitlam
2. Adam Rockwood, Coquitlam
3. Corey Mackin, Coquitlam

Up Next: the Eagles return home for a pair of games this weekend, beginning Friday against the Trail Smoke Eaters. Game time from South Surrey Arena is 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gameday: Eagles @ Express

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Coquitlam Express
When: January 15, 7:00 pm
Where: Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

Offense could be again plentiful tonight as the Eagles wrap up a stretch of four straight games away from home in Coquitlam against the Express. Surrey and Coquitlam have combined for 36 goals in the last three meetings between the two sides this season, and while both teams have made changes since they last faced each other a month ago, the potential for another free-flowing, high-scoring matchup certainly exists.

Surrey enters tonight's game on the heels of an overtime setback Saturday in Prince George that saw leading scorer Danton Heinen force extra time in the final minute of the third period. The short-handed Eagles were undone by current BCHL Player of the Week Justin Rai, though, who scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 Spruce Kings win. Newcomer Chase McMurphy picked up points in each of the two games up north (his first two fixtures in a Surrey uniform), while steady blueliner Kale Bennett, who recently was given an alternate captaincy, chipped in with a goal and an assist Saturday.

Tonight's game could also go a long way in determining playoff seeding in the Mainland division. A victory tonight for Surrey would close the gap on third-place Coquitlam to just two points, as well as increase the gulf between the Eagles and fifth-place Chilliwack to 14 points.

Last Meeting: Jonah Renouf's overtime winner helped the Eagles to a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Express December 15th at South Surrey Arena. Coquitlam leads the season series 4-3 and are 2-1 against Surrey on home ice.

Our Opponent: Barry Wolff's Express return home after going winless in a two-game trip to West Kelowna and Vernon last weekend, but get a chance to show off two new blueliners to the Coquitlam faithful this weekend. Former Langley rearguard Mark Whiteley joins the club from Salmon Arm while J.D. Cotroneo returns to junior hockey after spending time at the NCAA Division III level. Slick forwards Adam Rockwood and Ryan Rosenthal have been thorns in the Eagles' side this season, combining for 27 points (Rockwood alone has 15) in the 7 prior meetings this season.

In the Press Box: The Eagles are expected to be without forwards Jonah Renouf and Mitch Fyffe this evening. The Express have no listed injuries.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Spruce Kings 4 Eagles 3 (OT)

Justin Rai's hat-trick goal 1:16 into overtime pushed the Prince George Spruce Kings past the Eagles 4-3 Saturday at the Prince George Coliseum.

Rai surely thought he'd found a winner late in period three to put the hosts ahead, but a late Surrey rally forced extra time as the Eagles salvaged a point against the Mainland division's second seed.

Rai opened the scoring just past the eight-minute mark, but like Friday night the Eagles found a way to respond before the end of the frame. Affiliate callup Quinn Lenihan converted a pass from behind the net to send the two teams to the intermission tied at a goal apiece.

The opening frame was not without its fireworks, accented by a spirited bout between Anthony Conti and Prince George forward Sean Landrey. The Spruce King earned the takedown, Conti, with an assist on the evening was named third star.

Surrey found a 2-1 lead early in period two, when on a power-play, Kale Bennett's point shot beat Spruce Kings netminder Alex Murray from the left side.

The score remained static until the 8:07 mark of the third, when Marco Ballarin jammed home a rebound to tie the game 2-2. Prince George could well have taken the lead minutes later on a point-blank chance for leading scorer Chad Staley, but he was foiled after Eagles netminder Bo Didur made a terrific glove save.

Rai scored his second goal of the game on a nifty individual move with 1:31 remaining in the third, but the Eagles pressed on with the extra attacker, and found an equalizer when Danton Heinen put home a loose puck from just outside the crease for his team-leading 18th goal and 42nd point.

Murray made three early stops in the 4-on-4 overtime period, before Rai fired home a winner for Prince George to give them their second victory over Surrey in as many nights.

Up Next: The Eagles wrap up their current stretch of four games away from South Surrey Arena Wednesday night with an away fixture in Coquitlam.

Gameday: Eagles @ Spruce Kings

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Prince George Spruce Kings
When: January 11, 7:00 pm
Where: Prince George Coliseum

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: none

Surrey goes after a second split in Prince George as the Eagles and Spruce Kings complete their regular-season series tonight at the Coliseum.

The Spruce Kings withstood a third-period charge from Surrey, winning 6-3 Friday thanks in part to a Brent Lashuk hat-trick, while the Eagles got goals from newcomers Anthony Conti and Chase McMurphy after a slow start. Conti, picked up from Penticton last weekend in the Nic Pierog trade, has scored in each of his two games as an Eagle thus far.

The Eagles have had their struggles away from home this season, but can take inspiration from their last visit to Prince George in mid-November. After losing the first game of that two-game series 7-1, Surrey found a way to win the second matchup, posting a 2-1 triumph the following evening.

Last Meeting: With last night's 6-3 Prince George win, the season series between the two teams now stands even with both teams earning 3 wins and a tie.

Our Opponent: The Spruce Kings kept pace with first-place Langley by collecting the two points Friday, and remain seven points back of the Rivermen though the two teams meet five times next month. While Lashuk was the centre-piece on Friday's game sheet, the Spruce Kings found balanced scoring Friday, and goaltender Alex Murray turned in a strong effort between the pipes to keep Surrey at bay. Despite being one of only six BCHL teams to reach the 50-point mark this season, the Spruce Kings' power-play is ranked last in the 16-team circuit, and went 0/3 Friday.

In the Press Box: Forwards Jonah Renouf and Colton Mackie miss out for the Eagles, while new Prince George rearguard Cooper Rush is also out.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Spruce Kings 6 Eagles 3

The Prince George Spruce Kings avenged a pre-holiday loss with a 5-3 victory over the Eagles Friday at the Prince George Coliseum.

Brent Lashuk scored three times for the home side, while Alex Murray made 28 saves, withstanding a late Eagles charge as Surrey dropped its fifth consecutive away fixture.

The Spruce Kings opened the scoring just after the 7-minute mark on a long-range effort from Skylar Pacheco, but Surrey equalized within a minute, when on a three-on-two rush Anthony Conti tucked home his second goal in as many appearances as an Eagle.

Prince George took the lead later in the opening frame when a centring pass banked in past Surrey netminder Devon Fordyce off the skate of Spruce King Brogan O'Brien.

The hosts added to their lead with a pair of second-period goals, the first from Justin Rai moments after Surrey blueliner Michael McEachern struck the crossbar on a breakaway at the other end.

Prince George's Lashuk scored the first of his three goals just over a minute later, before upping the hosts' lead to 5-1 1:17 into period three.

But Surrey crept back with a pair of third-period goals, first with Chase McMurphy scoring his first as an Eagle before Nathan Renouf niftily deflected a shot past Murray on an Eagles power-play with 3:30 remaining.

Lashuk rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Up Next:
the two sides meet again Saturday in the back end of the two-game series.

Sandler to Nanaimo: before the game, the team announced forward Luke Sandler had been sent to the Nanaimo Clippers for future considerations. Sandler, 20, scored 5 times, adding 39 penalty minutes in 14 appearances in an Eagle uniform after returning to the BCHL from Muskegon in the USHL. Best of luck on the Island Luke!

Gameday: Eagles @ Spruce Kings

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Prince George Spruce Kings
When: January 10, 7:00 pm
Where: Prince George Coliseum

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: none

The new-look Surrey Eagles face their first test this evening in Prince George after a week of high-profile departures and new arrivals.

Gone are four overagers including snipers Brett Mulcahy and Nic Pierog, and in their place, skilled forwards Chase McMurphy and Anthony Conti along with a host of future considerations. Conti scored in his Surrey debut last Saturday, while McMurphy, a 19 year-old Alaska commit who put up 51 points with the AJHL's Calgary Mustangs last year, will play his first game in green and blue this evening.

The moves signify a marked attempt to build for the 2014-15 season, but this year's work is far from over. Nine points up on Chilliwack for the final playoff berth, the Eagles would do well to take some points from Prince George in an effort to both increase that gap, and to find some much-needed swagger away from home, as Surrey searches for just its fourth away victory since the end of September.

Last Meeting: Surrey closed the pre-holiday portion of the 2013-14 schedule with a 5-3 win over Prince George back on December 19th, thanks in part to a pair of Braedan Russell goals. The Eagles lead the season series with a 3-2-1 record through six meetings.

Our Opponent: Prince George returns home after starting 2014 on a lengthy Island/Mainland trip that netted just two of a possible six points, and come into tonight's game seven points back of division-leading Langley. No question, though, the Spruce Kings are comfortable in the cozy Coliseum, as their 10-5-0-1 home record would indicate. Chad Staley leads a speedy top six forward group with 42 points on the season and is one of five Spruce Kings with 10 or more goals. Prince George has surrended an average of 2.59 goals per game, which is tops in the Mainland division and fourth in the BCHL overall.

In the Press Box: The Eagles are expected to be without forward Jonah Renouf for both games this weekend. Prince George has no listed injuries.

Pierog Commits: News broke Wednesday that Pierog, who made his Penticton Vees debut last Sunday, has committed to Clarkson for next season. The Georgetown, Ontario product is enjoying a career year, and is very deserving of the privilege to play NCAA Division I hockey for the next four years. Congrats Nic!

Fraser-Lee To West Kelowna: News also became official last night that the West Kelowna Warriors have signed former Eagles blueliner Ryan Fraser-Lee. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native hasn't played since November 9th due to injury and was taken off the Surrey roster because of overage numbers, but had been practicing with the team in recent weeks. He'll add some grit and real character to the Warriors the rest of the way this year. Best of luck Ryan!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Eagles Ship Captain Mulcahy To Vernon

The Eagles and Vipers are again trade partners. After last year's blockbuster that saw Adam Tambellini come to Surrey, the Eagles have sent captain Brett Mulcahy and future considerations to Vernon for forward Chase McMurphy and future considerations.

It's the second big deal made by Peter Schaefer in the past three days, as Nic Pierog was traded to Penticton for Anthony Conti and futures this past Saturday.

In McMurphy, the Eagles get a talented scorer who put up 51 points in the AJHL with the Calgary Mustangs last season. He's committed to Alaska-Fairbanks for the 2015-16 season, and will be expected to be a big contributor up front in his 20 year-old year next season.

Mulcahy leaves the Eagles after the better part of three years' service, of course highlighted by his work captaining the team to the RBC Cup this past spring. Now, he'll get an opportunity to win a national championship close to his Kelowna home (Vernon is hosting the RBC Cup this season) before heading to Holy Cross next fall.

All the best in Vernon "Mulcs," and welcome Chase to the Eagles!

The full release from the team follows:

The Surrey Eagles have completed a trade with the Vernon Vipers, acquiring forward Chase McMurphy (94) and future considerations in exchange for forward Brett Mulcahy (93) and future considerations.

McMurphy, a native of Chestermere, Alberta, recorded 5 goals and 7 points with Vernon after beginning the 2013-14 season in the USHL. In three previous Junior "A" seasons with the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Calgary Mustangs, the 19 year-old scored 48 goals and 126 total points. McMurphy is committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for the 2015-16 season.

McMurphy is expected to make his Surrey debut Friday, January 10th when the Eagles visit Prince George.

Mulcahy, the outgoing Eagles captain, made 174 regular-season and playoff appearances in a Surrey uniform, recording 104 points. He captained the Eagles to their fourth Fred Page Cup championship, a Western Canada Cup championship and an RBC Cup semi-final berth last season, earning an NCAA commitment to Holy Cross in the process.

The Eagles organization would like to thank Brett Mulcahy for his countless contributions to the club on and off the ice, and wish him the best of luck with the Vernon Vipers as they prepare to host the RBC Cup in May. The club would also like to welcome Chase McMurphy to Surrey.

The Eagles return home Friday, January 17th to face the Trail Smoke Eaters at South Surrey Arena. Game time is 7:00 pm. For ticket information, call the Eagles office at (604) 531-GOAL (4625) or secure your seats online at

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rivermen 5 Eagles 1

Four unanswered goals paced the Langley Rivermen to a 5-1 victory over the Eagles Saturday at Langley Events Centre.

Surrey newcomer Anthony Conti, acquired earlier in the day from Penticton in a trade for 20 year-old Nic Pierog, opened his Eagles account as Surrey dropped its sixth consecutive game against Langley.

The Rivermen opened the scoring just past the four-minute mark thanks to Kevan Kilistoff, but his goal was quickly cancelled out by Conti, who on an Eagles power-play, converted a feed from behind the net by Danton Heinen on his second shift with his new team.

But the Surrey momentum was short-lived, as later in the frame Matt Ustaski converted on a rebound in front of Eagle netminder Bo Didur, giving the hosts a 2-1 lead at the break.

Langley added to their lead in the second period, first through Jakob Reichert, who strode through the Eagles defense, lifting a back-hander into the top corner 2:24 into the frame.

Tempers then flared when Eagles defenseman Michael McEachern took exception to a hard hit from Langley d-man Tanner Johnson, challenging him to a fight, while at the other end of the ice, Surrey's Danny Vlanich and Langley's Nathan Craft engaged in a scrap of their own. Vlanich and Craft were given game misconducts.

Langley's James Robinson put the hosts up 4-1 at the 14:08 mark, re-directing a one-timer from linemate Gage Torrel on a Rivermen power-play.

Will Cook closed out the scoring 5:35 from time in an otherwise unmemorable third period, as the Eagles were handed their first loss of 2014.

Brock Crossthwaite stopped 21 of 22 Eagles shots to record the win, while Didur made 21 saves for Surrey.

My Three Stars:
1. Matt Ustaski, Langley
2. Zach Urban, Langley
3. Will Cook, Langley

Up Next: The Eagles head north for a pair of games next Friday and Saturday, January 10th and 11th, against the Spruce Kings in Prince George.

Pierog To Penticton: The Eagles announced earlier in the day the team had acquired Conti and future considerations for 20 year-old Pierog, who put up 26 goals in 37 games this season in Surrey. The move is certainly one with the future in mind: Conti, 18, still has one full season of junior hockey to play before he heads to Alaska-Anchorage in the fall of 2015.

Pierog, on the other hand, joins a well-built Vees squad that currently leads the Interior division. He will be a terrific, veteran addition to a squad looking to claim its second Fred Page Cup in three years, but most definitely will be missed around the South Surrey Arena. Good luck Nic!

Gameday: Eagles @ Rivermen

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Langley Rivermen
When: January 4, 7:15 pm
Where: Langley Events Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles have a chance to go two for two to begin 2014 after an emotional win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals last night at South Surrey Arena.

Surrey fired home six goals, three of which came in the first period, in a 6-4 triumph that was overshadowed by an injury to leading scorer Jonah Renouf.

Tonight, the Eagles turn their attention to a divisional opponent in Langley with an eye on moving back to within two points of third-place Coquitlam. The Eagles have run into strong goaltending against Langley this season, though, and tonight will try to reverse a trend that's seen them outscored 13-4 in three previous meetings at the Langley Events Centre this season.

Forward Luke Sandler broke out in a big way last night, scoring his first goals in seven games, including the game-winner in the third period. Danton Heinen led all scorers with four points Friday after opening the scoring 4 minutes into the game.

An early start would be massive for the Eagles this evening. Surrey has endured its struggles away from home, and five of the club's seven away victories this season have come when scoring the first goal. Special teams will also be a key in a fixture that is sure to again provide power-play opportunities; the Eagles surrendered three power-play goals last night, and also gave up three short-handed markers during their last visit to Langley Events Centre.

Last Meeting: The Rivermen won their fifth game against Surrey by a 5-2 score on December 13th in Langley. Our hosts lead the season series 5-1.

Our Opponent: Langley comes into play tonight on the heels of a 4-3 overtime victory in Chilliwack last night, pushing their point total to 51. Captain Mitch McLain leads the attack with 42 points and is one of five Rivermen with 10 or more goals. Langley's big, physical defense is anchored by 20 year-old Zach Urban and 19 year-old Chris Forney, who leads the Rivermen blue line with 24 points. 15-game winner Brock Crossthwaite was the goaltender of record in the last meeting between the two teams.

In the Press Box: In addition to Renouf, Surrey will be without forward Colton Mackie. Langley forward Brendan Gulka is suspended.

Eagles 6 Capitals 4

Luke Sandler and Nic Pierog each scored twice as the Surrey Eagles defeated the Cowichan Valley Capitals 6-4 Friday at South Surrey Arena.

The Eagles won their 2014 opener, a result overshadowed though by the loss of leading scorer Jonah Renouf to a frightening head injury late in the second period.

Surrey came out of the gates flying, scoring three times in the opening thirteen minutes. First, Danton Heinen and Sandler rifled home wristers from the right circle that both beat Capitals netminder Robin Gusse to the blocker side, then Pierog banged home a rebound to give the Eagles their largest lead of the night.

Cowichan Valley's Jordan Topping wristed home a shot through traffic before the first period was out, then fellow forward Dane Gibson capitalized on an early second-period power-play to draw the visitors to within a goal.

The teams traded chances, but not goals, until the 14:33 mark of the second period when Renouf, having just had his stick slashed out of his hands, lost his balance just as a Capital back-checker was turning towards him to finish a hit. The Capital's knee came into contact with Renouf's head in a lightning-quick turn of events, and the Eagles forward remained on the ice for more than thirty minutes as medical professionals tended to him.

Both teams were sent to their respective dressing rooms, only for play to resume when the Eagles forward was taken off the ice on a stretcher. Surrey captain Brett Mulcahy restored the hosts' two-goal lead minutes later on a wrist-shot from the slot, before Gibson had his second goal of the game carom past Surrey goalkeeper Devon Fordyce just prior to the end of the middle frame.

The Eagles found a third multi-goal advantage on a third-period power-play, when Sandler deflected a point shot past Cowichan Valley goaltender Francis Marotte, who replaced Gusse after the first period, but again the Capitals would bring themselves back to within one soon after, thanks to a sharp-angled effort from blueliner Clint Filbrandt.

Pierog rounded out the scoring with his second goal of the night with just under three minutes remaining in regulation time, as Surrey swept the two-game season series from the Capitals and moved back to within four points of third-place Coquitlam with the victory.

Renouf was taken to a local hospital and is recovering. The Eagles would like to thank the medical professionals on hand and those who were called to the rink, as well as the Cowichan Valley Capitals medical staff, for their swift action and assistance.

Renouf also took to social media after the game.

My Three Stars:
1. Danton Heinen, Surrey
2. Dane Gibson, Cowichan Valley
3. Luke Sandler, Surrey

Up Next: Surrey visits the Langley Rivermen Saturday to begin a stretch of four straight games away from home. The puck drops at 7:15.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Gameday: Eagles vs. Capitals

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals
When: January 3, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles aim to bounce back in their first contest of 2014 when they host Cowichan Valley Friday.

Forward Mitchell Fyffe takes a two-game goal-scoring streak into Friday's game. The 19 year-old was handed an honourable mention for BCHL Player of the Week after a 3-point weekend against Chilliwack, playing his 150th regular-season game in the league in the process. Rookies Austin Ferguson and Darius Davidson both benefitted from Fyffe's solid weekend, both are riding two-game point streaks with Davidson coming off his second goal of the season last Sunday.

Surrey enters tonight's game with a 4-1 record against the Island division, the lone blemish coming against Powell River in October.

Expect the Eagles to have plenty of jump tonight after a shorter-than-usual work week thanks to the New Year's holiday. And with a group that remains mostly healthy, no doubt Surrey will have something to prove this weekend after a less than favourable finish to 2013.

Last Meeting: Jonah Renouf tied the game in the third period, and won it in overtime as Surrey nipped the Capitals 3-2 on September 22nd in Duncan. Tonight marks the second of two regular-season meetings between the two sides.

Our Opponent: After a hot start to the season, Cowichan Valley has settled into the fourth seed in the Island division. The Capitals (10) have the second fewest points away from home in the BCHL this season, only Trail (7) has fewer. Head coach Bob Beatty has several new charges in his lineup, including third-year defenseman Valik Chichkin, who arrived from the Smoke Eaters last month. RIT commit Myles Powell leads the Caps in scoring with 35 points (15-20). It's also a safe bet that 20 year-old Robin Gusse will play in goal; the Quebec native leads the BCHL in minutes played, shots faced and saves.

In the Press Box: Surrey is expected to be without forward Colton Mackie (upper body). The Capitals have no listed injuries.