The Surrey Eagles’ win streak is over, but they still managed to pick up single point in the standings in an otherwise disappointing weekend.
The Birds – winners of four straight games and six of the last seven prior to stepping onto the ice Friday night at South Surrey Arena – lost twice on the weekend, 4-3 in overtime to the Chilliwack Chiefs Friday, and 5-4 to the visiting Merritt Centennial on Sunday afternoon.
“We certainly didn’t like the results… we didn’t play near what we expect of ourselves,” Eagles head coach Brandon West told Peace Arch News.
“I don’t think we defended well enough – and that’s on everybody. Our play without the puck just wasn’t good enough.”
Though they picked up one point by virtue of the overtime loss to the Chiefs, the Eagles’ record dropped back to even, at 9-9-2-1 (win-loss-overtime loss-tie). They sit fourth in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland Division with 21 points, four back of the Chiefs and Prince George Spruce Kings, both of whom are tied for second.
Though the team’s offence was still strong – led by veteran John Wesley, who had two goals Friday and another Saturday to run his league-leading total to 17 – West said the team’s inability to put games out of reach when they’ve had the chance was the team’s undoing.
In both games, the Eagles had the lead, before the opposition clawed back.
“We had 2-0 leads in both games, but it just felt like when they scored one goal (against us), suddenly, they had three,” the coach explained. “We need to find ways to win those games, and put teams away once we get those leads.”
One highlight of Sunday’s loss, however, was rookie forward Caige Sterzer, who scored his first career BCHL goal on a second-period rush, which at the time tied the game. Jeff Stewart, with his third of the season, and Wesley, had the team’s other goals.
The OT contest Friday was a back-and-forth affair, with the Eagles taking a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the second period on a goal from Desi Burgart, and the lead extended to 2-0 just eight seconds into the third, when Wesley scored.
Chilliwack controlled the next 10 minutes of play, scoring three times to take the lead, but Wesley scored again with just 1:23 to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The Chiefs were able to pick up the extra point for the win when Will Calverley scored the winner at the 1:54 mark.
The Eagles will look to get back into the win column this week – they have three games scheduled for this weekend. On Friday, the Coquitlam Express will be in town for a 7 p.m. game at South Surrey Arena, and on Saturday night, the two teams will play a rematch, this time in Coquitlam. Surrey rounds out the busy weekend with a 4 p.m. Sunday tilt against the visiting Chiefs.