Eagles earn split on opening weekend
The Surrey Eagles opened the B.C. Hockey League season in much the same way they played most of last year – by earning a weekend split.
On Friday, the Birds lost a heartbreaker at South Surrey Arena, falling 3-2 in double-overtime to the Langley Rivermen, but bounced back Saturday, winning 5-2 in front of more than 3,100 Rivermen fans at the Langley Events Centre.
Friday at home, Semiahmoo Minor hockey alum Michael Stenerson led the charge for Surrey with a pair of power-play goals, while Langley was paced by first-year BCHLer Mario Puskarich, who also potted a pair of goals, including the OT winner 1:01 into the game’s second overtime.
In Saturday’s rematch, Robert Lindores had two goals and one assist for Surrey, while captain Tyler Morley and younger brother, Brandon, each had two-point evenings.
Linden Saip and Mitch Spooner also scored for the Eagles in the win.
Both teams’ power-plays were sharp all weekend long, with the Eagles scoring five times with the man-advantage – including three times Saturday – and the Rivermen three. Surrey also managed a shorthanded marker, off the stick of Tyler Morley in the second period of Saturday’s win.
Second-year netminder Andrew Hunt – who was the backup to departed veteran Karel St. Laurent last year – was between the pipes in both contests for the Eagles, stopping 37 shots in the double-overtime loss, and 24 in the win Saturday.
In an odd scheduling quirk, the two clubs will square off for the third consecutive time Friday, at South Surrey Arena. On Saturday, the Eagles host the Coquitlam Express.
Former Eagles starting goaltender Karel St. Laurent, who came to South Surrey last season from the Quebec Major Junior League, was cut from Vancouver Canucks main camp last week, and reassigned to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.
St. Laurent, who was in Canucks camp on a tryout basis, will now try to earn his first professional contract with the AHL club.
“It was an amazing journey here in Vancouver! Enjoyed every second of it,” St. Laurent wrote on Twitter last week.