Saturday, July 26, 2014

Masellis to Langley

According to the Rivermen website, the Eagles this morning traded 17 year-old defenseman Domenic Masellis to Langley for future considerations.

Masellis made 53 appearances in Eagles silks last season, scoring three points (0-3) and compiling 52 minutes in penalties. The Burnaby product also led the Eagles in playoff hits during a physical six-game first-round playoff series with Langley. He, along with Surrey netminder Bo Didur, was a member of the 2013 BC Major Midget League champion Vancouver Northwest Giants.

Masellis' rough-and-tumble style will play well in Langley, who historically have stacked their back end with large, physical specimens, and if Twitter is any indication, the Swift Current Bronco draft pick is looking forward to what lies ahead with Surrey's Mainland rivals:

Thanks, Dom, for all your hard work in Surrey last season and best of luck with Langley!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eagles Complete Two Trades

News broke this morning of a pair of trades involving the Eagles and two teams in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Surrey has parted ways with last season's leading defensive scorer Matt Dawson and truculent winger Mason Mitchell, acquiring a local goaltender and future considerations in the process.

First the Eagles shipped Dawson, a 34-point man last year in his 17 year-old season, to the Brooks Bandits for 19 year-old goaltender Daniel Urbani and futures. 4 of Dawson's six goals came on the power-play last season; look for those statistics to spike as he enters his 18 year-old year.

In Urbani, Surrey gets a two-year Junior "A" vet who made 13 appearances in the Bandits' goal last season. The Coquitlam native posted a 6-3-2 record with a very respectable 2.40 GAA and .913 SV%. As a 17 year-old with his hometown Express, Urbani picked up two wins (oddly, both against the Trail Smoke Eaters) in 16 appearances behind current Minnesota State Maverick Cole Huggins.

In a separate deal, the Eagles sent overage forward Mason Mitchell to the Calgary Mustangs for future considerations. Mitchell, acquired as future considerations from Nanaimo last month in a deal that sent Luke Sandler to the Island in January, will attend Alaska-Anchorage in the fall of 2015, but returns to his hometown for his final season of junior hockey.

All the best in the future Mason and Matt, and welcome to the Eagles Daniel!

Eagles Commit To Kodiak Forward Unger

The Eagles continue to stock their roster with local players, announcing yesterday the signing of 19 year-old Surrey product Spencer Unger.

Unger, who appeared five times in Surrey silks last season as an AP, is coming off a championship season with the Junior "B" Aldergrove Kodiaks. With Aldergrove, Unger put up 41 points (18-23), adding 7 points in the Kodiaks' run to the final of the Cyclone Taylor Cup in Nelson this past spring.

Unger is an alum of both the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association and the Valley West Hawks major midget program, and is expected to bring speed and grit to Surrey's forward ranks this coming season.

A press release issued in a team newsletter Thursday follows:

SURREY - The Surrey Eagles are thrilled to announce the commitment of forward and Surrey native Spencer Unger for the 2014-15 BCHL season. 

Unger, 19, joins the Eagles from the Pacific Junior Hockey League's Aldergrove Kodiaks, with whom he recorded 18 goals and 23 assists, good for 41 points in 39 games. Unger was also a major contributor to the Kodiak's Championship run with adding 7 points in the playoffs. The Kodiaks, down 3-1 to Richmond came storming back to win the series in 7 games. When asked about the experience Unger said, "We managed to win our league and place second in Provincials. Going threw that makes me want to do the same thing here in Surrey, I'll do whatever I can to help this team get as far as we can."

Unger and the Kodiaks went on the Cyclone Cup where they fell victim to Beaver Valley. Unger was the Kodiaks top scorer in the tournament. During the 2013-14, Unger as signed as an affiliated player with the Surrey Eagles where he saw 5 games of action. "Last year helped me get used to the speed and pace of the game at the Jr. A level and will help me in the upcoming season.  I am looking forward to playing a full season with the Eagles and helping the team succeed."

"We are thrilled about Spencer's scoring ability, but more importantly what type of kid he is." said Head Coach Blaine Neufeld. "Watching him develop over this last season and getting to know him as a person through this off season assures me that he will fit well with the culture and vision we have with our team."

Unger, a product of Semiahmoo, also played a year for the Valley West Hawks of the BC Major Midget League and has progressed through ranks. "Spencer developed through the local Minor hockey, through Major Midget, to Junior B and now to us. He is a player that we know a lot about and know he has progressed the right way and is ready for this level."

Spencer eyes are wide open with excitement for the year to come, "My personal expectations this upcoming season are to help contribute offensively the most I can and help make the players around me better.  One of my goals is to contribute on special teams, whether that's penalty kill or power play, I believe those are big contributors to a teams success." 

Spencer and the Eagles have their home opener on September 26th vs the rival Chilliwack Chiefs. Be sure to save the date and Support You Local Wild Life.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Eagle Mitchell Firms Up UAA Commitment

One of the future considerations acquired by Surrey this off-season has finalized his commitment to NCAA Division I Alaska-Anchorage.

Mason Mitchell, who joins the Eagles as the final piece of a deal that sent overager Luke Sandler to Nanaimo in January, will join the Seawolves beginning in the fall of 2015. The Calgary product had committed to UAA while a member of the Clippers, however the league announced earlier this week that Mitchell's scholarship will begin in a year's time, as opposed to this autumn.

The truculent Mitchell put up 19 points (9-10) in Clippers silks this past season, finishing up with 103 minutes in penalties, good for fourth in the BCHL. He becomes the third Eagle to secure a commitment to an Alaska-based school, joining Anthony Conti (UAA as well) and fellow Albertan Chase McMurphy (UAF).

Blanchard Defers: According to the BCHL website, fellow newcomer Josh Blanchard, acquired from Penticton this past spring, will begin his scholarship at St. Cloud State beginning in the fall of 2016. Originally, his tenure with the Huskies was set to begin in 2015.

MacDonald To Vernon: The Vipers announced today that former Eagle AP Ayden MacDonald (96) will be a part of their roster come September. MacDonald made 4 appearances in Surrey colors this past season, spending the majority of his campaign with the PJHL's Richmond Sockeyes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Eagles Name Neufeld Head Coach

The Eagles have made a change behind the bench for the 2014-15 BCHL season, naming the club's director of hockey operations Blaine Neufeld as the team's head coach.

Neufeld, who joined the Eagles as part of this past spring's ownership and management shuffle, was part of the Vancouver Giants' goaltending duo during their 2007 Memorial Cup championship season. His coaching resume includes a stint as the goaltending coach with the MJHL's Winkler Flyers as well as assistant coaching duties at the midget/U18 level in Manitoba and BC.

At just 27 years of age, Neufeld supplants Salmon Arm head coach Brandon West as the youngest current bench boss in the BCHL.

Neufeld replaces Peter Schaefer, who spent the last two seasons behind the Surrey bench, first as an assistant coach during the Eagles' 2013 championship run, then as head coach this past campaign. Last season's Surrey club was eliminated in the first round of the Fred Page Cup playoffs by the top-seeded Langley Rivermen in six games.

Schaefer will remain affiliated with the Eagles in a personal consulting role.

A release issued by the team this afternoon follows:

SURREY - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is very excited to announce the hiring of new Head Coach Blaine Neufeld. Neufeld joined the Eagles organization back in April when he assumed the role of Director of Hockey Operations. 

"I am very excited to assume the role as Head Coach, along side the role of Director of Hockey Operations. Over the past few months we set as one of our goals to bring a more community feel to the team and it is exciting to see that being fulfilled." remarked Neufeld.

The Eagles, under the guidance of Neufeld, have committed to four local players, who all played in the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey program. "We believe that the best players are right here in Surrey, Cloverdale and White Rock," Neufeld asserted, "Through healthy relationships and community involvement I believe we can help one another develop players and promote them through the Junior A level and NCAA Division 1 Scholarships, and good citizens."

Neufeld comes to the Eagles organization with coaching experience at the Junior A level in Manitoba, along with working at the Major Midget group in Manitoba and the Hockey Academies here in British Columbia. Neufeld's playing career also has ties to B.C., as a goaltender of the 2007 Memorial Cup Champions Vancouver Giants. He also spent two years with the Medicine Hat Tigers, under the guidance of Willie Desjardins, the current Vancouver Canucks Head Coach.

"Through my playing career I was able to learn from some of the greatest WHL coaches; Don Hay in Vancouver, and Willie in Medicine Hat," Neufeld Mentioned, "Through the role of a goaltender you are allowed to see how the game develops and even during my playing career I always strived to become a coach. I was able to focus on taking as much from those great coaches and plan to apply it here." Neufeld would continue to learn how a winning environment is contagious. "In both cities we had a very successful team. To be able to be in two different championship dressing rooms is very unique and a great opportunity. I know what it takes to win at the Junior level and not it will be my task to implement that with our boys, our goal is to help them become champions on and off the ice." Neufeld emphasized.

The Surrey Eagles are also please to announce that former Head Coach and GM, Peter Schaefer, will contribute to the team in a personal consulting role. "Peter has been great with his ongoing help through our transition here with the Eagles," Neufeld acknowledged, "I am new to the BCHL, and Peter has been extremely helpful with advice as situations arise."

The Surrey Eagles, under the guidance of Blaine Neufeld, will open their pre-season on September 5th at Prospera Center in Chilliwack and then at North Surrey Arena on Saturday, September 6th at 7:00pm. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Eagles 2014-15 Schedule Released

The BCHL released the full 2014-15 regular-season schedule Friday morning as the Eagles continue preparations for their 24th season in Surrey. Like last year, the Birds will play a 58-game regular-season campaign (28 home, 28 away, 2 showcase) beginning with the 3rd BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack September 19th-21st.

9 of Surrey's 28 home dates fall on Sundays or holiday Mondays, with all other home games evidently set for new, 7:11pm puck drops at South Surrey Arena. The Eagles' home schedule begins Friday, September 26th with the first half of a home-and-home set with the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Expect the team to announce more information on game-night events and promotions in advance of training camp, which by league mandate begins August 29th.

The full 2014-15 Surrey Eagles regular-season schedule follows (home games in CAPS):

19 - vs. Penticton Vees, 7:30 pm (BCHL Showcase at Chilliwack)
21 - vs. Salmon Arm SilverBacks, 5:30 pm (BCHL Showcase at Chilliwack)
26 - vs. CHILLIWACK CHIEFS, 7:11 pm
27 - at Chilliwack Chiefs, 7:00

03 - vs. NANAIMO CLIPPERS, 7:11 pm
05 - vs. LANGLEY RIVERMEN, 4:00 pm
08 - vs. SALMON ARM SILVERBACKS, 7:11 pm
12 - vs. TRAIL SMOKE EATERS, 4:00 pm
15 - at Langley Rivermen, 7:00 pm
19 - vs. COQUITLAM EXPRESS, 4:00 pm
24 - vs. COQUITLAM EXPRESS, 7:11 pm
25 - at Victoria Grizzlies, 7:00 pm
26 - at Nanaimo Clippers, 2:00 pm
29 - at Penticton Vees, 7:00 pm
31 - vs. PENTICTON VEES, 7:11 pm

07 - at Coquitlam Express, 7:00 pm
08 - vs. COQUITLAM EXPRESS, 7:11 pm
10 - vs. LANGLEY RIVERMEN, 2:00 pm
14 - at Prince George Spruce Kings, 7:00 pm
15 - at Prince George Spruce Kings, 7:00 pm
21 - at Langley Rivermen, 7:00 pm
26 - vs. LANGLEY RIVERMEN, 7:11 pm
28 - vs. CHILLIWACK CHIEFS, 7:11 pm
29 - at Chilliwack Chiefs, 7:00 pm

03 - at Coquitlam Express, 7:00 pm
05 - vs. POWELL RIVER KINGS, 7:00 pm
09 - at Langley Rivermen, 7:00 pm
13 - at Langley Rivermen, 7:00 pm
14 - vs. LANGLEY RIVERMEN, 4:00 pm
17 - at Vernon Vipers, 7:00 pm
21 - vs. VICTORIA GRIZZLIES, 4:00 pm
28 - at Chilliwack Chiefs, 5:00 pm
30 - vs. CHILLIWACK CHIEFS, 7:11 pm

02 - at Alberni Valley Bulldogs, 7:00 pm
03 - at Cowichan Valley Capitals, 7:00 pm
04 - at Powell River Kings, 1:30 pm
09 - vs. MERRITT CENTENNIALS, 7:11 pm
11 - vs. VERNON VIPERS, 4:00 pm
16 - vs. LANGLEY RIVERMEN, 7:11 pm
17 - at Chilliwack Chiefs, 7:00 pm
22 - at Prince George Spruce Kings, 7:00 pm
23 - at Prince George Spruce Kings, 7:00 pm
25 - vs. WEST KELOWNA WARRIORS, 4:00 pm
30 - at Coquitlam Express, 7:00 pm

07 - at Trail Smoke Eaters, 7:30 pm
08 - at Salmon Arm SilverBacks, 3:00 pm
09 - vs. COQUITLAM EXPRESS, 2:00 pm
13 - vs. CHILLIWACK CHIEFS, 7:11 pm
14 - at Chilliwack Chiefs, 7:00 pm
18 - at Coquitlam Express, 7:00 pm
25 - at Merritt Centennials, 7:00 pm
28 - at West Kelowna Warriors, 7:00 pm