The Surrey Eagles wrapped up their regular-season schedule with three points on an Island-Division road trip, with the third point coming Sunday in a gutsy effort against the first-place Victoria Grizzlies.
Against the Grizzlies – who are tied with the Langley Rivermen for the most points in the BC Hockey League – Surrey trailed 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes, and 2-1 after 40, thanks to a second-period power-play goal from Matthew Dawson.
In the third period, the visiting Birds – playing their third game in three days – tied the game, again on the power play, on a goal from blue-liner Kale Bennett.
The deadlock last all of seven seconds, however, as Victoria’s Garrett Forster restored his team’s lead with an unassisted marker.
For most of the final 10 minutes, the Eagles stormed the Grizzlies’ net trying for the equalizer, and the pressure finally paid off when Eagles’ leading scorer and captain Danton Heinen tied the game 3-3 with 28 seconds left, sending the game into overtime.
Victoria was successful in the extra frame, outshooting Surrey 3-0 before Jacob Kearney scored the winner at the 3:35 mark.
Goaltender Bo Didur was tagged with the loss for the Eagles, despite making 30 saves.
The Eagles’ weekend began Friday in Powell River, with the Kings defeating the visitors 4-1.
Whereas Sunday’s game featured two power-play goals for the Eagles, Friday’s was quite the opposite, as it was the Kings who lit the lamp twice with the man advantage, while the Eagles struggled, going 0-for-4.
Powell River took a 2-0 lead on a pair of late first-period goals, the first a power-play goal from Aidan Wright with 1:46 left in the period, and the second, from Curtis McCarrick, with 44 ticks left on the clock.
The home team extended the lead to 3-0 in the second – Jared Lukosevicius scored the team’s second power-play goal – and Eagles’ Darius Davidson cut the lead to 3-1 with an even-strength goal eight minutes later.
In the third, Lukosevicius struck again, with 1:30 left in the game to put the game on ice.
As was the case Sunday, Didur was again between the pipes for the Eagles, stopping 37 of 41 shots.
The Eagles’ only win of the weekend trip came Saturday in Nanaimo, with the visitors escaping Frank Crane Arena with a 3-1 victory.
Anthony Conti – who has now scored seven goals in 18 games since being acquired by the Eagles in January – led the charge with a pair of goals, including one into the empty net.
Joseph Drapluk, on the power play, rounded out the scoring.
Didur earned the win, stopping 31 shots.
With the regular-season schedule now complete, the Eagles – who finished the season with a 25-30-1-2 record – get set to face the Langley Rivermen in the first round of BCHL playoffs.
The team will have the upcoming weekend off while the rest of the teams wrap up its remaining games, with the playoffs set to begin the following week.
According to Surrey Eagles’ marketing/media director Chris Wahl – who posted the “oddball stat” on Twitter Sunday, the overtime loss to the Grizzlies was the first time all season the Eagles earned a point, away from home, when trailing after one period.