Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eagles/Rivermen Schedule Announced

Langley native Danton Heinen leads the Eagles into the first round beginning March 4th

The Eagles and Rivermen both announced the schedule for their Mainland division semi-final series, set to begin Tuesday, March 4th in Langley.

It's the second consecutive first-round playoff series between the two rivals, with Surrey winning a best-of-five affair in four games last season.

Surrey, the fourth seed in the division, have completed their regular season schedule, while the top-ranked Rivermen will play two games in Prince George Thursday and Friday to wrap up their campaign.

The Spruce Kings and Coquitlam Express will face each other in the other Mainland division first-round series.

Today's news release from the team is as follows:

The Surrey Eagles are pleased to announce the schedule for the 2014 Mainland division playoff semi-final against the Langley Rivermen.

The best-of-seven series will begin Tuesday, March 4th at the Langley Events Centre. Surrey will host Games 3, 4, and 6 (if necessary) on Friday, March 7th, Saturday, March 8th, and Tuesday, March 11th.

Game 7 of the series (if necessary) will be played at Langley's George Preston Recreation Centre as the Langley Events Centre will be hosting the BC AAA boy's basketball provincial tournament.

The full schedule follows:

GAME 1: Tues, March 4: Surrey @ Langley, 7:15 pm
GAME 2: Wed, March 5: Surrey @ Langley, 7:15 pm
GAME 3: Friday, March 7: Langley @ Surrey, 7:00 pm
GAME 4: Saturday, March 8: Langley @ Surrey, 7:00 pm
GAME 5: Monday, March 10: Surrey @ Langley, 7:15 pm*
GAME 6: Tuesday, March 11: Langley @ Surrey, 7:00 pm*
GAME 7: Wednesday, March 12: Surrey @ Langley, 7:15 pm*+

* - if necessary
+ - game to be played at George Preston Recreation Centre

For ticket information, contact the Eagles office at (604) 531-GOAL (4625).

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Grizzlies 4 Eagles 3 (OT)

Jacob Kearley snapped home a game-winner 3:35 into overtime to give the Victoria Grizzlies a 4-3 victory over the Eagles in the provincial capital Sunday.

The Eagles fell behind early, but after a gutsy final fourty minutes of regulation forced overtime through a late tying goal from Danton Heinen, finishing the regular season with a point against the Island division-leading Grizzlies.

victoria shot out of the gate Sunday, taking a 2-0 lead inside ten minutes on goals from Cole Pickup and Jesse Schwartz and outshooting the Eagles 13-5. Surrey took four minor penalties in the opening frame, and six overall, but successfully killed all but one Victoria power-play in the game.

The intermission served Surrey well, as following the break the visitors found their legs, and got back to within a goal on a power-play of their own at the 9:42 mark. Matt Dawson's point shot found its way into the net through traffic and a screened goaltender Nic Renyard.

The Eagles nearly equalized while short-handed minutes later when Joe Drapluk broke in alone on Renyard and was hooked. Referee Adam Griffiths signaled for a penalty shot, but the Surrey forward was bested by the Victoria backstop from in tight.

The Eagles came into Sunday's game with the league's second-best power-play, and it clicked again 6:03 into the third. Kale Bennett rifled a laser beam off Renyard's right post and in to tie the game at 2-2.

But Victoria answered right back 7 seconds later. Kearley found forward Garrett Forster in the low slot, and the former Eagle re-directed a hard pass past Didur to put the Grizzlies back in front by one.

Surrey continued to pressure the hosts, pulling Didur for an extra attacker with nearly two full minutes left on the third-period clock. The move paid off as Nathan Renouf found Heinen in space just outside the Victoria crease with a crisp pass from the right corner. The Eagle captain made no mistake, converting his team-leading 29th goal of the season to force extra time.

Kearley, though, proved to be the hero, scoring his second goal in as many games against Surrey after converting on a pass from behind the goalline.

Didur made 30 saves in goal for Surrey in his third start in as many days.

Surrey finishes the regular season with a 25-30-1-2 overall record.

My Three Stars:
1. Jacob Kearley, Victoria
2. Kale Bennett, Surrey
3. Jesse Schwartz, Victoria

Up Next: The Eagles will now have nine days to prepare for their first-round playoff matchup with Langley. A full playoff schedule has yet to be announced but the post-season will begin Tuesday, March 4th.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Eagles 3 Clippers 1

A pair of Vancouver Northwest Giants put in stellar performances Saturday, as the Surrey Eagles posted a 3-1 victory over the Clippers in Nanaimo.

Anthony Conti scored twice, while 16 year-old netminder Bo Didur made 31 saves as Surrey bumped a three-game mini-slump, earning the season series sweep over the Clippers in the process.

Surrey opened the scoring early in the opening frame thanks to Conti, who bumped a five-game goal-less drought with a deft wrister. The Eagles forced several big saves out of Clippers goaltender Jayson Argue, but the hosts stayed level through the opening frame after Sheldon Rempal wired home a shot from the right wing.

The Eagles won four consecutive power-plays in the second period, but nearly fell behind early in the middle frame when, while short-handed, Clippers forward Corey Renwick struck Bo Didur's left post inside the opening two minutes.

The score remained level until the 14:52 mark of the second when Joe Drapluk put the finishing touches on a power-play marker after defenseman Matt Dawson held the line.

Both goaltenders continued to stymie their opposing shooters in a cagey third period, before Conti iced things for Surrey with an empty-net marker.

The Eagles, who gave up 6 power-plays in Friday's loss in Powell River, played a much more disciplined game Saturday. Surrey were short-handed only once, with Nanaimo's lone man-advantage coming midway through the third period.

Argue made 29 saves for Nanaimo in the loss.

My Three Stars:
1. Bo Didur, Surrey
2. Jayson Argue, Nanaimo
3. Anthony Conti, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles complete their regular-season schedule with a Sunday matinee in Victoria against the Grizzlies. Game time is 2:00 pm.

Gameday: Eagles @ Clippers

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Nanaimo Clippers
When: February 22, 7:00 pm
Where: Frank Crane Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: NONE

Two teams that have their final seedings locked in meet tonight in Nanaimo, as the Eagles continue their Island road swing in the Harbour City against the Clippers.

The Eagles will finish the regular season fourth in the Mainland division, and after results elsewhere Friday now know they will face Langley in the first round of the BCHL playoffs, while the Clippers will end the campaign as the Island division's third seed.

Motivation shouldn't be a problem for Surrey, however. A frustrating 4-1 setback in Powell River last night extended the Eagles mini-slump to three games, as the Kings put together a strong defensive performance to shut down Surrey's top shooters on the Sunshine Coast.

Darius Davidson had the Eagles' lone tally last night, and comes into Saturday's fixture with goals in consecutive games. His goal Friday was just as much about finish as it was determination from defenseman Kale Bennett, who fought through traffic and a lost edge in the neutral zone to gain the Powell River line and set up the scoring opportunity.

Last night's setback was the first loss away from home against an Island division opponent for Surrey this season, and overall the Eagles have a respectable 5-3 record against opposition from across the straight. Tonight, they'll try to improve on that, and right the ship in their penultimate regular-season game.

Last Meeting: Surrey could earn the season series sweep with a victory tonight, after the Eagles won the first meeting of the season 3-1 on a Danton Heinen winner December 14th at South Surrey Arena.

Our Opponent: The Clippers are also coming off a loss, falling 7-2 in Duncan to the Cowichan Valley Capitals last night in a physical affair between the two Island rivals. The Clippers are led offensively by 18 year-old Brendan Taylor (55 points), but the player perhaps typifing Nanaimo's club this season might well be overage goaltender Jayson Argue, who leads BCHL netminders in games and minutes played, and all the while has posted a sparkling .929 save percentage. A sizeable, physical defense anchored by captain Scott Prier complements Nanaimo's back end.

In the Press Box: The Eagles were without goaltender Devon Fordyce and overage forward Colton Mackie Friday, with Valley West Hawks affiliates Paul Savage and Eric Callegari earning callups. Nanaimo could be without veteran forwards Mason Mitchell and Luke Sandler after both were assessed major penalties last night.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Kings 4 Eagles 1

Two late first-period goals paced the Kings to an early start, and goaltender Jeff Smith made 25 saves in a 4-1 Powell River victory over the Surrey Eagles at Hap Parker Arena Friday.

Curtis McCarrick's left-wing shot in the final minute of the opening frame proved to be the winner, as despite a 37-save effort from Bo Didur the Eagles were unable to crack the stingy Kings defense.

Powell River raced out of the gate, outshooting Surrey 16-5 in the opening frame, but Didur stopped everything he saw until a laser beam off the stick of captain Aidan Wright from the left point found the back of the net on a late Kings power-play. McCarrick put the hosts ahead 1:02 later after being set up from behind the goalline by linemate Jarid Lukosevicius.

The Kings started the second period with a power-play, and it was Lukosevicius who answered the bell, beating his former Vancouver Northwest Giant teammate Didur from in tight 1:19 into the frame to make it 3-0.

Surrey clawed back to within two goals just before the midway mark of the middle frame when Darius Davidson snapped home his fifth goal of the season from the left wing after a determined effort from defenseman Kale Bennett to get up-ice.

The goal seemed to spur on the Eagles offense, but Smith stood tall, robbing Anthony Conti from in close then denying Chase McMurphy on a breakaway.

Lukosevicius added an insurance marker with 90 seconds left in the third period as Powell River snapped a five-game skid.

Results elsewhere in the BC Hockey League Friday confirmed the Eagles' first-round playoff opponent as the Langley Rivermen. The Mainland division semi-finals are slated to begin Tuesday, March 4th, but a full schedule has yet to be announced.

My Three Stars:
1. Jarid Lukosevicius, Powell River
2. Jeff Smith, Powell River
3. Bo Didur, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles continue the weekend with a Saturday night tilt in Nanaimo. Game time is 7:00 at Frank Crane Arena.

Gameday: Eagles @ Kings

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Powell River Kings
When: February 21, 7:30 pm
Where: Hap Parker Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: none

The final road trip of the 2013-14 regular season begins Friday in Powell River, as the Eagles complete their pre-playoff schedule with a three-game swing through the Island division.

Surrey are resigned to finishing in the fourth position in the Mainland division standings after last weekend's results, but will look to head into the playoffs on a winning note beginning tonight against the Kings. The Eagles could find out their playoff opponent as early as Friday evening too, with both Langley and Prince George still battling for the #1 seed in the division.

Up front, no Eagle has bee more on form than Jonah Renouf, who has recorded points in 10 of 11 games since returning from injury January 19th. Renouf became the first Eagle to crack the 60-point barrier this season with an assist this past Sunday against Victoria. Team captain Danton Heinen sits one point back with 59.

Watch for rookie netminder Bo Didur to feature heavily this weekend. 17 of Didur's 21 appearances in goal this season have come away from home.

Friday's matchup could come down to special teams, too. The Eagles power-play is clicking at 21.49 percent away from South Surrey Arena, good for second-best in the BCHL. Powell River, though, holds the league's second-best home penalty-kill with an efficiency rating of 87.71 percent.

Last Meeting: The Kings won the reverse fixture in Surrey back on October 11th 6-4 thanks in part to a pair of goals from Jarryd Leung.

Our Opponent: The Kings enter tonight's game on a five-game losing streak, and now sit four points behind the Victoria Grizzlies for the Island division lead. Kent Lewis' team is lights-out at home, though, posting a 19-6-1 record at the unforgiving Hap Parker Arena this season. Ferris State commit Drew Dorantes leads the Kings in scoring with 53 points, with former Vancouver Northwest Giant Jarid Lukosevicius sitting just one point back with 52. The Kings boast a lot of size on the back end: only one of Powell River's seven blueliners stands under six feet tall. Rookie netminder Jeff Smith has taken the Sunshine Coast by storm, posting a 16-9-1 record and earning a scholarship to UMass-Lowell. 19 year-old co-pilot Jonah Imoo represented Team Canada West at the World Junior "A" Challenge last season, too.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Grizzlies 5 Eagles 2

Three third-period goals helped the Victoria Grizzlies spoil Surrey's regular-season home finale, as the Eagles were handed a 5-2 setback Sunday at South Surrey Arena.

Cole Pickup's breakaway goal 7:17 into the third proved to be the eventual game-winner, as Victoria moved past Langley into first place overall in the BCHL.

The Grizzlies started early and through an odd opening goal, when at the 2:21 mark of the first period Jacob Kearley sent a dump-in toward goal that dipped beneath the glove hand of Surrey goaltender Devon Fordyce. The goal stood as the only tally as the teams split twenty-two total shots in the opening frame.

Surrey bounced back early in the second, though. Darius Davidson rifled home his fourth goal of the season after a nifty set-up from Danton Heinen 2:26 into the middle frame, catching the top corner of Alec Dillon's net from the slot.

The Grizzlies' leading scorer gave the visitors the lead six minutes later. At the conclusion of a Victoria penalty, Gerry Fitzgerald snuck off the bench and down the left wing, accepting a cross-ice feed from Dante Hahn, and then outwaiting Fordyce to score his 26 goal and 76th point of the campaign.

Pickup split the Surrey defence and fired home the 3-1 goal early in the third before former Eagle Garrett Forster added some flash to the Grizzlies offence, ducking his way out of the right wing corner and roofing a shot over Fordyce's left shoulder with 6:45 to play.

The Eagles found a brief spell of momentum later in the third period thanks to twins Jonah and Nathan Renouf. The former found the latter wide open in front of the net with 3:30 remaining to cut the Grizzlies lead to 4-2, but the Eagles comeback hopes were thwarted in the final minute of period three when Jay Mackie put home an empty-netter.

Surrey, who were without forwards Braedan Russell and Anthony Conti, were unable to capitalize on six power-play opportunities Sunday With the loss find themselves resigned to the fourth seed in the Mainland division standings.

My Three Stars:
1. Alec Dillon, Victoria
2. Dante Hahn, Victoria
3. Travis Stephens, Victoria

Up Next: Surrey winds down the 2013-14 regular season with a three-game road swing beginning Friday night in Powell River. The Eagles will make stops in Nanaimo and Victoria Saturday and Sunday.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Grizzlies

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Victoria Grizzlies
When: February 16, 4:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles wind down a busy weekend, and their regular-season home schedule this afternoon with a matchup against the Island division-leading Victoria Grizzlies. The Eagles will be thankful for a quick opportunity to bounce back from a frustrating setback in Chilliwack last night, in what oddly enough is the first meeting of the regular season between Surrey and Victoria.

Eagles forward Joe Drapluk led the way offensively with a pair of goals Saturday, both of which were overshadowed by a late lapse that was sparked by a controversial body-check on Surrey set-up man Nathan Renouf behind the play. Surrey will have had the day to regain their focus, though, and will take a home record that's produced 13 wins in the last 17 outings onto the ice against a Victoria team that has posted victories in two tough away buildings (West Kelowna and Penticton) already this weekend.

Tonight, we honour a pair of overage players who will take part in their final junior hockey regular-season home game. Oakville, Ontario's Braedan Russell will attend Brown University next season. Local product Colton Mackie will dress in his 184th regular-season game in an Eagles uniform tonight, winding down a four-year Surrey career that included a pivotal role in last season's Fred Page Cup and Western Canada Cup champion squad.

Last Meeting: The two sides have not met since a 2-1 Victoria victory on December 8, 2012 on the Island. Gerry Fitzgerald had both Grizzlies goals.

Our Opponent: Victoria has put together one of the most consistent campaigns of the 2013-14 season, and come into play today one point behind Langley for the BCHL's highest point total. The Grizzlies are also playing their third game in as many days after 8-5 and 3-1 wins in West Kelowna and Penticton, respectively. Up front, the Grizzlies are buoyed by the Fitzgerald triplets, though Myles and Gerry have only recently been re-joined by Leo, the reigning BCHL Player of the Week. RPI commit Alec Dillon has, at the age of 17, posted an impressive 19-6-2 record between the pipes, while Nic Renyard posted the victory against his former Penticton club last night.

Chiefs 5 Eagles 3

Three goals in the final minute of regulation time helped the Chilliwack Chiefs shock Surrey 5-3 at Prospera Centre Saturday night.

Mathieu Tibbet led the way with a hat-trick, while Josh Halpenny stole the show in a relief effort between the pipes in a game that featured a heated finish between the two Mainland division rivals.

Tibbet opened the scoring just past the six-minute mark of the first period, sending a wrist shot over Surrey goaltender Bo Didur's right shoulder from the high slot through traffic. The Eagles found an equalizer just over 90 seconds later when Jonah Renouf, after being denied by Chilliwack starter Spencer Tremblay twice earlier in the shift, roofed a wrist shot into the top of the net from just outside the crease.

Joe Drapluk gave the Eagles the lead on a short-handed rush, converting a two-on-one feed from linemate Mitch Fyffe from the right circle to put Surrey in front 2-1 at the intermission. Tremblay though, did not return for the start of the second period for the home side.

The Eagles enjoyed a strong second period, punctuated by Drapluk's second goal of the game on a two-man advantage. Chilliwack captain Tanner Cochrane was assessed a major penalty for spearing minutes earlier after thrusting the blade of his stick into the lower midsection of Surrey forward Anthony Conti after Conti had been sent hurtling into the Chilliwack net.

The Chiefs got a goal back before the second period was done, though, as Tibbet set up Zach Diamantoni on an odd-man rush; the Chief centreman one-handed a shot that glanced in off Didur's arm.

Surrey outshot Chilliwack 17-5 in the second period, and looked poised to increase their lead in the first half of the third were it not for Halpenny, who robbed Eagle captain Danton Heinen twice with glove saves (this after stopping Conti on a pair of point-blank chances in the second period), and was bailed out by his crossbar after Drapluk found himself in space on left wing.

The score remained level until the final minute when, on a Chiefs rush, defenseman Carter Cochrane turned away from the play to deliver a hit on trailing Eagles forward Nathan Renouf at the Surrey blue line. Renouf fell to the ice and lay prone for several moments; the play continued, and Tibbet scored his second of the game on a back-door feed from Diamantoni.

The hit and ensuing goal seemed to unhinge the Eagles, who took a bench minor seconds later. Chilliwack's Tibbet completed the hat-trick just 5 seconds after the penalty to give the home side the lead, before Diamantoni sealed Surrey's fate 8 seconds after his side went ahead.

Both Conti and Renouf left the game and did not return. The Eagles fell to seven points behind third-place Coquitlam in the Mainland division standings after the Express won on home ice Saturday.

My Three Stars:
1. Mathieu Tibbet, Chilliwack
2. Joe Drapluk, Surrey
3. Josh Halpenny, Chilliwack

Up Next: The Eagles go right back to work against Victoria Sunday afternoon in the final home game of the regular season. Game time is 4:00 at South Surrey Arena.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Gameday: Eagles @ Chiefs

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Chilliwack Chiefs
When: February 15, 7:00 pm
Where: Prospera Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

Surrey will look to carry forward momentum from a comprehensive win Friday into the final meeting of the season with the Chiefs tonight in Chilliwack. Surrey posted a 5-1 home-ice win over Salmon Arm last night in a game that featured 3-point efforts from linemates Danton Heinen and Chase McMurphy.

What may have been more impressive still was the Eagles' collective tenacity on the forecheck and in battles for loose pucks. Surrey pressured their opposition in all three zones Friday, a marked contrast from the wild-west shootout that was Monday's 7-6 triumph over the Chiefs.

As a unit, the Eagles' defense showed exactly what they're capable of Friday, too. Salmon Arm directed more than the 29 shots they were credited for at goaltender Devon Fordyce, but the Eagle netminder was buoyed by several shot blocks and re-directions with active sticks in the defensive zone.

A win tonight, and a Coquitlam loss to the SilverBacks would bring the Eagles to within three points of the third seed in the BCHL's Mainland division. Both Surrey and Coquitlam have five games remaining in the regular season entering play today.

Last Meeting: Braedan Russell's goal in the final minute of the third period helped the Eagles to the aforementioned 7-6 victory five days ago in Surrey. The season series is tied 4-4 with the home side having won 6 of the 8 prior engagements.

Our Opponent: The Chiefs will try and bounce back after an 8-2 setback on home ice to the Nanaimo Clippers last night, with Kurt Black and Kiefer McNaughton both finding the back of the net for Chilliwack. The Chiefs will be determined to play their final five games of the regular season with a high degree of physical intensity, and surely have their sights set on a season series victory against their Eagle rivals. Blueliner Carter Cochrane was an honourable mention for BCHL Player of the Week this week, he posted three points in Monday's loss.

In the Press Box: Both Mitch Fyffe and Michael McEachern missed out last night for the Eagles, with three affiliates (Matt Houston, Nigel Swab and Ty Westgard) drawing into the lineup.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Eagles 5 SilverBacks 1

The Eagles scored early and often Friday in a 5-1 victory over the Salmon Arm SilverBacks at South Surrey Arena.

Danton Heinen and Chase McMurphy each had three-point nights, while Devon Fordyce stopped 29 of 30 shots to earn his fifteenth victory of the season as the Eagles kicked off their busy weekend in style.

All five of Surrey's goals came in the opening fourty minutes, as the Eagles remained relentless on the forecheck, forcing turnovers and taking advantage of opportunities in front of SilverBacks netminder Angus Redmond.

McMurphy opened the scoring 4:32 into the game on a one-timer from the low slot. The Chestermere, Alberta product fired an Anthony Conti centring pass past Redmond's right pad, before Jonah Renouf roofed a wrister from in tight just under ten minutes later to give the home side a 2-0 lead after one period.

Surrey started the second period on the power-play, and found paydirt in the opening minute of the middle frame through Heinen. The Eagle captain scored the first of his two goals, both power-play markers, accepting a feed from McMurphy to beat Redmond at the 54-second mark, then wiring a hard snapper from the right-wing circle at 11:02 to give the hosts a four-goal lead.

The Eagles played Friday with three affiliate skaters, one of whom set up another for his first BCHL goal on his Eagles debut just under a minute later. After Ty Westgard stripped a SilverBack of the puck in the offensive zone, a pass came through to defenseman Nigel Swab, who glanced a shot in off Redmond's arm from the slot. Swab, a defenseman with the Junior "B" Columbia Valley Rockies, was making his Junior "A" debut along with teammate Matt Houston, while Westgard tallied an assist for the second time in as many Surrey outings.

Alex Gillies put the visitors on the board late in the second period with a picture-perfect wrist shot from the right-wing circle, a goal which rounded out the scoring despite the Eagles enjoying a pair of two-man advantages in period three.

The victory brings Surrey to within five points of idle Coquitlam for third place in the Mainland division. Both teams have five games left in the regular season.

My Three Stars:
1. Danton Heinen, Surrey
2. Chase McMurphy, Surrey
3. Ty Westgard, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles close out the season series against Chilliwack with a rubber match Saturday at Prospera Centre. Game time is 7:00.

Gameday: Eagles vs. SilverBacks

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Salmon Arm SilverBacks
When: February 14, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles begin a busy weekend Friday in search of a season series split against Salmon Arm. Fresh off one of the wilder games of the season, a 7-6 triumph over Chilliwack that saw Braedan Russell pop in a game-winner in the final minute Monday, Surrey should find renewed confidence in their ability to score goals heading into the final half-dozen games of the regular season.

Friday's Valentine's Day affair is the second-to-last home game for the Eagles during this regular season, and Surrey might well be reluctant to play four of their final five games on the road after tonight. Surrey has posted a 12-4 record at the South Surrey Arena since November 1st, a marked turnaround for a club that went 2-7-1 in their first ten home dates.

Danton Heinen's hat-trick Monday thrust him further into the lead among the Eagles goal-scorers with 26 on the campaign. The Langley product, though, finds himself one point shy of Jonah Renouf's 56 for the overall team scoring lead. Heinen leads all BCHL rookies in scoring, though, and is one of only two skaters (Prince George's Chad Staley being the other) in the top 20 in league scoring who has yet to formally commit to an NCAA Division I school.

The Eagles have also called up a pair of affiliates from the KIJHL's Columbia Valley Rockies for tonight's game. Forward Matt Houston makes his fourth appearance in a Surrey sweater tonight, while fellow Calgary native Nigel Swab is poised to make his BCHL debut on the back end.

Last Meeting: Taylor Maruya's two third period-goals helped Salmon Arm to a 5-4 win in the Shuswap on January 25th. Surrey has won 4 of the 6 prior meetings dating back to the 2010-11 season.

Our Opponent: The SilverBacks come into the weekend in need of points as they look to climb back into the Interior division playoff picture. Salmon Arm enters play Friday one point back of the fourth and final post-season seed, held by the Merritt Centennials. BCHL scoring leader Landon Smith has had a season to remember; the Quinnipiac commit has tucked home 41 goals in 51 games and along with linemates Alex Gillies and Evan Anderson has formed one of the more dynamic top lines in the league. Watch for Salmon Arm to activate their defense Friday as well; rearguards Mitchell Ferguson and Andrew Farny have combined for 60 points from the back end. The SilverBacks are one of two Interior division teams (Penticton being the other) to boast two NCAA Division I-committed goaltenders, though future New Hampshire Wildcat and defacto number-one netminder Adam Clark has missed the last several weeks due to injury. Former Eagle Michael Roberts also makes his return to Surrey tonight, he was traded this past December in the deal that saw now-departed Luke Sandler arrive at South Surrey Arena.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Eagles 7 Chiefs 6

Braedan Russell celebrated his birthday with a last-gasp game-winner as the Eagles outgunned the Chilliwack Chiefs 7-6 at South Surrey Arena Monday.

Russell's shot from the right-wing circle caromed off a Chiefs defenseman into the net with 39 seconds left to put Surrey back in the win column, and help the home side pick up their third consecutive victory over their Fraser Valley rivals.

Surrey's captain Danton Heinen led the offensive charge with a hat-trick, and opened the scoring 2:08 into the first period after Anthony Conti fed him a centring pass from the right wing. That goal was quickly cancelled out by Chiefs rookie Jordan Kawaguchi, who ripped home a shot off a face-off win in the Surrey zone 44 seconds later.

The Eagles restored their lead on a power-play minutes later thanks to Jonah Renouf, who deflected his brother Nathan's shot through Chilliwack netminder Spencer Tremblay's legs, but again the Chiefs replied on an unassisted goal by Jake Hand, eventually taking the lead on a power-play of their own when Zach Diamantoni deflected a point shot past Surrey goaltender Bo Didur 1:43 from the end of a wild first period.

The scoring came to a brief slowdown in period two, with Surrey capitalizing on a pair of goal-mouth scrambles in front of Tremblay. First, Russell tucked home the first of his two goals at 8:37 before Heinen banged home a rebound on a 5-on-3 after linemate Conti hit Tremblay's left post from in tight.

Heinen completed the hat-trick with another power-play marker 25 seconds into the third period, finding the top corner of the net from a sharp angle down the right wing.

That goal seemed to spur on the visitors, who stormed back with three unanswered goals from Andrew Silard, Jaret Babych and Carter Cochrane in a spell of 8:19 to reclaim the lead at 6-5.

But the confident Eagles found a way to overcome that spate of adversity, tying the game at 12:33 when, after Kale Bennett fired a slapshot off the end glass, Jonah Renouf slipped a rebound through Tremblay for his second goal of the game.

The Eagles were forced to kill off a late penalty before Russell found the game on his stick in the dying moments. It was the Oakville, Ontario product's first game-winning goal of the season.

The Eagles responded to their recent 1/23 home power-play slump by going 3/7 while a man up, while Chilliwack scored 2 power-play goals of their own on seven opportunities.

Didur made 29 saves to earn the win in his first start since January 15th, while Tremblay stopped 31 Surrey shots.

My Three Stars:
1. Danton Heinen, Surrey
2. Andrew Silard, Chilliwack
3. Braedan Russell, Surrey

Up Next: The Eagles begin a three-game weekend Friday when they host the Salmon Arm SilverBacks at South Surrey Arena. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Chiefs

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
When: February 10, 2:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

After a frustrating setback Saturday against Penticton, the Eagles look to get back in the win column this afternoon when they host Chilliwack in a Family Day matinee. Surrey outshot the Vees two nights ago, but were undone by a trio of power-play goals and a rock-solid goaltending performance from Hunter Miska in a 3-0 defeat.

Today, the Eagles shift their focus toward a more familiar rival, and one against whom they've enjoyed recent success. Surrey swept Chilliwack in a home-and-home series last weekend to clinch a playoff berth, outscoring the Chiefs 12-6 in the process.

Given the animosity between these two sides, it stands to reason the Eagles will get a chance to kick-start their power-play, which has struggled on home ice recently. Surrey holds the fifth-best power-play efficiency in the league, but has gone through a 1-for-23 slump at South Surrey Arena since mid-January.

Today marks the second-to-last Mainland division matchup of the regular season for the Eagles, who come into the game nine points back of the third-place Coquitlam Express. The Eagles will play four of their final six regular-season games against Island division opposition, including a tough three-game trip to wrap up the campaign two weekends from now.

Last Meeting: The Eagles took the last meeting between the two sides on February 1st, winning 7-4 in Chilliwack on the strength of an Austin Ferguson game-winner. The Chiefs lead the season series 4-3.

Our Opponent: Chilliwack will be on the outside of the BCHL playoff picture this season, a definite rarity in the Fraser Valley. But Harvey Smyl's club have been playing competitive hockey recently, as evidenced by their weekend Interior sweep in Trail and Salmon Arm. Leading goal-getter Mathieu Tibbet committed to Merrimack over the weekend as well, which stands as a deserving punctuation mark on a three-year Chiefs career. Spencer Tremblay was the goaltender of record the last time these two sides met, and also recorded both victories on the road this weekend, making 40 saves against the SilverBacks in his most recent outing Saturday.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vees 3 Eagles 0

Three power-play goals and a 29-save shutout performance from Hunter Miska helped the Penticton Vees to a 3-0 victory over the Eagles Saturday at South Surrey Arena.

Former Eagle Nic Pierog scored the eventual game-winning goal in his return to Surrey, while Miska frustrated Eagles shooters to help Penticton to the win.

Surrey flew out of the gates, peppering Miska with ten shots in the opening 12 minutes of the game including point-blank chances for Nathan Renouf and Danton Heinen, but were unable to solve the Vees keeper, even on a four-minute power-play early on.

The Vees, who came into Saturday's game with the top-ranked power-play and penalty kill in the BCHL, capitalized on a pair of man-advantage opportunities of their own later in the opening frame. Pierog snapped home his 29th goal of the season from the right wing with 5:51 left in the period after accepting a hard, cross-ice pass from Steen Cooper in the neutral zone.

Cooper played set-up man again later in the period, zipping a hard pass from the left corner that was deflected past Surrey netminder Devon Fordyce by Jack Ramsey, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes despite being outshot 14-11.

Penticton captain Brad McClure rounded out the scoring 5:02 into the second period, when on a Vees power-play danced across the slot and snapped home his team-leading 37th goal of the season moments after being denied by Fordyce from just outside the crease.

From then on, both goaltenders slammed the door shut on any further offense, as Penticton, playing their third game in four nights, continued to frustrate Surrey's attackers.

Fordyce, making his eighth consecutive start in goal, stopped 25 Penticton shots. The Vees finished 3/4 on the power-play, while Surrey went 0/6.

My Three Stars:
1. Hunter Miska, Penticton
2. Nic Pierog, Penticton
3. Riley Alferd, Penticton

Up Next: The Eagles face the Chilliwack Chiefs in a Family Day matinee Monday at South Surrey Arena. Game time is 2:00 pm.

Gameday: Eagles vs. Vees

Who: Surrey Eagles vs. Penticton Vees
When: February 8, 7:00 pm
Where: South Surrey Arena

: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The euphoria of securing a post-season berth is a thing of the past as the Eagles return home tonight to face the Interior division-leading Penticton Vees. Surrey clinched a spot in the Mainland division bracket last Saturday in Chilliwack, and with eight games remaining in the regular season can now set their sights on finishing strong, and closing the gap between themselves and the third-place Coquitlam Express, who sit seven points ahead of Surrey entering play today.

Surrey were successful last weekend thanks in part to offensive depth: all three scoring lines contributed greatly in the two wins over the Chiefs, with Austin Ferguson netting last Saturday's game-winner on a late second-period power-play. The line of Nathan & Jonah Renouf with Braedan Russell led the way, combining for 22 points.

Tonight, Surrey faces a stiff test in Penticton, and will need to maintain the work ethic that's brought them success over the last three weeks. It certainly feels as though the team is gelling at just the right time, and tonight we'll see just how they stack up against one of the BCHL's best.

Last Meeting: The Vees took game one of the two-game season series with a 7-1 victory in the Okanagan on December 7th.

Our Opponent
: The Vees, playing their third game in four days, travel to the Lower Mainland minus their head coach today. Fred Harbinson and Shane McColgan were both handed automatic one-game suspensions after the Vees' 3-2 win over Salmon Arm last night, after McColgan was assessed a double minor in the first period for an equipment violation. Nonetheless, the Vees bring a potent lineup to South Surrey Arena headlined by 70-point man (and captain) Brad McClure as well as former WHLer Erik Benoit, who played in last spring's Memorial Cup (with McColgan) with the Saskatoon Blades. Former Eagle Nic Pierog makes his return to Surrey tonight, as well. The Georgetown, Ontario native has 2 goals in 11 games as a Vee, recently committing to Clarkson University as well.

In the Press Box: Both Mitchell Fyffe and Colton Mackie were on the ice at practice this week and could return tonight. Penticton is without forward Ben Dalpe, while fellow playmaker McColgan and head coach Harbinson are both suspended as mentioned above.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Shattuck St. Mary's Forwards Commit To Eagles

Alex Rodriguez was listed in the NHL Ones to Watch ranking this past summer

The Eagles announced a pair of new recruits Monday, with forwards Alex Rodriguez (95) and Sean Harrison (96) set to join the club next season from the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary's school in Minnesota. The high-flying forwards will add plenty of speed, and plenty of pop to a returning core that already looks pretty tantalizing.

 Harrison leads his AAA team in scoring with 93 points through 48 games played

Rodriguez (18-28-46 this season with Shattuck St. Mary's prep team) was listed in this past summer's NHL Ones to Watch list as a "B" ranked skater, while Harrison leads the Shattuck St. Mary's AAA team with 45 goals and 93 points this season.

Welcome to the Nest fellas!

The full media release from the team follows:

SURREY -- The Surrey Eagles are pleased to announce the commitments of a pair of forwards from the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s high-school program in Minnesota.

Alex Rodriguez (95) and 17 year-old Sean Harrison (96) will both don Eagles colours beginning in the 2014-15 BCHL season.

Rodriguez, from Miami, Florida, has compiled 46 points (18-28) in 37 games with the Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep team this season. The 5’11”, 176-pound forward set a career mark of 71 points (34-37) during the 2011-12 season with the school’s Midget AAA team.

This past September, Rodriguez was rated a “B” skater in the NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Ones to Watch listing.

I'm very excited to be joining the Surrey Eagles for 2014-2015, from what I have heard it is a great organization, and it's going to be the place I want to be at to excel and make it to the next level,” said Rodriguez.

“Coach Schaefer has had a lot of success as a player and I think he's going help me develop as a player and as a teammate. It's also great to know I'll be coming in with a fellow Sabre in Sean Harrison. I look forward to meeting all of the staff, players, and fans of the Eagles organization,” Rodriguez added.

Harrison, a 6’ forward from Eagle River, Alaska, leads the Shattuck St. Mary’s Midget AAA team in scoring with 93 points (45-48) through 48 games played this season. His point tally thus far represents a career mark at the Minnesota high-school level.

 “This past November, I had the opportunity to meet with the Surrey coaches and Coach Schaefer encouraged me to take my time with my decision, but I pretty much made my decision that evening” said Harrison. “The BCHL is exciting and fast. I need to ensure my off season preparation this summer allows me to show up at the Surrey camp ready to contribute.”

“Being born and raised in Alaska makes this opportunity to come to British Columbia that much sweeter as it reminds me a lot of home. I love the big ice at the South Surrey Arena as it definitely plays to the strength of my game,” Harrison added.

“We’re really looking forward to adding these two high-end players to our lineup next season,” said Eagles head coach/general manager Peter Schaefer. “Both Alex and Sean have enjoyed a lot of success at the high-school level and will bring a high-energy, exciting style of play to our club next year.”

Your Eagles return home Saturday, February 8th at 7:00 pm to host the Penticton Vees at South Surrey Arena. Proceeds from ticket sales and the 50/50 will be donated to the Paskall Family Trust, with pre-game festivities and a minor hockey showcase featuring players from Surrey, Semiahmoo and Cloverdale Minor Hockey also part of the night’s events. For ticket information, contact the Eagles office at 604-531-GOAL (4625) or select your seats online at www.surreyeagles.ca

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Eagles 7 Chiefs 4

A four-goal outburst in the second period helped the Eagles to a 7-4 win in Chilliwack Saturday, as Surrey clinched a playoff berth with eight games remaining in the regular season.

Austin Ferguson scored his first two goals away from home in an Eagles uniform, one of which stood up as the game-winner 19 seconds from the end of the second period, as the Eagles swept the weekend home-and-home series with the Chiefs, winning their fifth game in the past six outings.

It took until the late stages of period one for either team to open the scoring, the best chance early coming off the stick of Anthony Conti, who for the second consecutive night was foiled by Chiefs goaltender Josh Halpenny from point-blank range.

The hosts opened the scoring with less than three minutes left in period one when Jaret Babych roofed a sharp snapper from the right-wing circle, but Ferguson cancelled out Chilliwack's opener just over a minute later when the puck found him at the left post on a Surrey power-play, allowing him to deposit it into the open cage.

The Eagles faced adversity early in period two, though. Braedan Russell thought he'd scored 48 seconds in when he lifted a loose puck over Halpenny, but the goal was disallowed on account of goaltender interference, though no penalty was called. 7 seconds later, Mathieu Tibbet strode in alone for the hosts, tucking a back-hand beneath the pad of Surrey goaltender Devon Fordyce to give Chilliwack a 2-1 lead.

But the Eagles came alive in the second period, scoring four unanswered goals to wrest control of the game from their hosts. Russell, on a similar play to his disallowed goal, scored a legitimate tally at the 6:17 mark, before the two Renoufs, Jonah and Nathan, scored in quick succession to give Surrey a 4-2 lead.

Ferguson then drastically altered a Brian Drapluk point shot, deftly deflecting his teammate's wrister on a Surrey power-play to give Surrey a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Undaunted, the Chiefs attempted a comeback in the third, getting life into Prospera Centre when captain Tanner Cochrane scored on a breakaway just over 7 minutes into the final frame.

But again, the Eagles countered, with Conti besting Halpenny with a backhand after a nifty two-on-one feed from Danton Heinen.

Ben Butcher and Heinen (into an empty net) traded goals in the dying minutes as the Eagles withstood a 19-shot Chilliwack barrage in the third period to hold the lead, and their vise-like grip on a precious playoff berth.

Nathan Renouf led all scorers with four points for Surrey, while Fordyce made 38 saves in goal.

With the win, and results elsewhere, Surrey moved to within five points of third-place Coquitlam in the Mainland division standings. Both teams have eight games left in their regular-season schedules, though there are no head-to-head meetings.

My Three Stars:
1. Braedan Russell, Surrey
2. Austin Ferguson, Surrey
3. Mathieu Tibbet, Chilliwack

Up Next: Surrey is idle until Saturday, February 8th when they host the Penticton Vees at South Surrey Arena. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Gameday: Eagles @ Chiefs

Who: Surrey Eagles @ Chilliwack Chiefs
When: February 1, 7:00 pm
Where: Prospera Centre

Pay-Per-View: FAST Hockey
Radio: Ustream

The Eagles can book their ticket to the BCHL playoffs with a second straight win over Chilliwack tonight. Surrey visits Prospera Centre on the heels of a 5-2 triumph over the Chiefs last night at South Surrey Arena on the strength of multi-point games from Nathan Renouf, Danton Heinen, Matt Dawson and Chase McMurphy as well as another workmanlike performance from Devon Fordyce in goal.

The Eagles are brimming with confidence, and would do well to begin the month of February just the way January ended. Surrey has won four of its last five games. Tonight marks an opportunity to improve on the team's fortunes away from home as well; Surrey has collected just two victories away from home within the Mainland division this season.

The goal of clinching a post-season berth is within Surrey's grasp, but make no mistake, this team has higher aspirations than simply sneaking into the race for the Fred Page Cup.

Last Meeting: Surrey's 5-2 win last night was just their second against the Chiefs this season. Chilliwack leads the season series 4-2.

Our Opponent: The Chiefs go into tonight's game needing to win to remain in post-season contention, and will certainly rely on another strong performance from either Josh Halpenny or Spencer Tremblay between the pipes this evening (for my money, Halpenny was the best Chief on the ice last night, and by a wide margin). Mathieu Tibbet upped his team-leading goal total to 19 last night, while linemate Zach Diamantoni was sensational in the faceoff circle Friday. The Chiefs are holding Parents Weekend this weekend and brought two fan busses of noisy, enthusiastic supporters to South Surrey Arena last night; no doubt that energy will be present in their home rink this evening.

In the Press Box: Colton Mackie and Mitchell Fyffe remain sidelined for the Eagles Saturday, while Cole Sartorio and Kyle Westeringh both missed last night's game for the Chiefs.