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Surrey Eagles stop slide with OT win over Rivermen
The Surrey Eagles welcomed one of their leading scorers back into the lineup with a win on Sunday, salvaging what to that point had been a winless win for the BC Hockey League club.
On Sunday evening at South Surrey Arena, the Eagles – playing with Jonah Renouf in the lineup for the first time in six games – edged the first-place Langley Rivermen 5-4, thanks to an overtime goal from Nathan Renouf, who tipped a shot from his brother, Jonah, past Langley netminder Brock Crossthwaite.
Jonah Renouf, who has 13 goals and 29 assists this season, had been sidelined with a concussion after he suffered a blow to the head in a game against Cowichan Valley earlier this month. The Eagles struggled in his absence, going winless in five games, but not due to the efforts of fellow forward Danton Heinen, who picked up the offensive slack.
With Renouf out of the lineup, Heinen – who now wears the captain's 'C' after former captain Brett Mulcahy was dealt to Vernon – took over the team scoring lead, and he added two more goals in Sunday's win over Langley, giving him 21 on the season.
In addition to Heinen's pair, Matthew Dawson scored a power-play goal for the Birds, and Chase McMurphy – who has scored at a point-per-game pace since arriving in Surrey via trade this month – had the other goal for the home side.
Anthony Conti added two assists in the win.
Goaltender Devon Fordyce was sharp between the pipes for the Eagles, stopping 40 shots from Langley, who were on a six-game win streak prior to the overtime defeat.
For Surrey, the upset win over the Rivermen – who've already clinched a playoff berth – halted a five-game losing streak.
On Friday night, at home against the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters, the Eagles dropped a 5-3 decision, which came just two days after giving up seven goals to the Coquitlam Express in another loss.
Friday, the Eagles and Smokies played to a 1-1 tie after the opening 20 minutes – Sean Davies scored for Trail, Kale Bennett for Surrey – but the Smoke Eaters took the lead in the second period.
Beginning with a power-play goal from Jake Lucchini at the 3:01 mark, Trail scored three goals in less than eight minutes to take a 4-1 lead, though Austin Ferguson made it 4-2 later in the period, with an assist to affiliate player – and South Surrey resident – Ty Westgard.
McMurphy cut the lead to 4-3 with a third-period power-play goal before Trail's Bryan Basilico iced the game with an empty-netter.
Wednesday's road loss to the Express followed a similar pattern – even first period, before the opposition took control over the final 40 minutes.
In the first period, Coquitlam jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Corey Mackin and Canon Pieper, before Surrey rebounded to tie things up with goals from Heinen and Nathan Renouf.
The second period was dominated by the Express, however, as the home team fired three pucks past Eagles goalie Bo Didur.
The third period was much of the same, as Ryan Rosenthal scored twice for the home team. With less than three minutes to go, Surery's Braeden Russell tacked on a power-play goal to make it 7-3.
Surrey still sits fourth in the BCHL's Mainland Divison, though the gap between themselves and the third place Express – which was one just four points – has now widened to 10. The Eagles still have a 14-point lead on the last-place Chilliwack Chiefs.
The Eagles hit the road this week for a pair of games against Interior Division foes. On Friday, they'll square off against Trail, and Saturday head to Salmon Arm to play the Silverbacks before returning home.