Surrey Eagles clinch division title

Linemates Adam Tambellini (left) and Brady Shaw had plenty to celebrate on the weekend, as they led the Surrey Eagles to a pair of wins and a tie. - Garrett James photo
Linemates Adam Tambellini (left) and Brady Shaw had plenty to celebrate on the weekend, as they led the Surrey Eagles to a pair of wins and a tie.
— image credit: Garrett James photo

Taking five of six points on a three-game road trip was more than enough for the Surrey Eagles to clinch top spot in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland Division.

The five-point boost – courtesy of two overtime wins and one tie – gave the Eagles a record of 33-13-3-4, good for 73 points, 11 more than the second-place Chilliwack Chiefs, who have lost two straight.

On Friday, Surrey was led by forward Adam Tambellini, who scored four of the team’s five goals – including the OT winner – in a 5-4 comeback win over the Powell River Kings at Hap Parker Arena.

With the Eagles trailing 4-2 early in the third period, linemates Brady Shaw and Tambellini scored 1:21 apart to bridge the gap, and then in overtime – with the Eagles on the power play – Tambellini one-timed a shot from the top of the right circle to give the visitors the victory.

Tambellini also scored 13:28 into the first period, and added had a power-play goal early in the second. Shaw had a goal and an assist.

The following night, the Eagles again went to extra time, this time in Port Alberni against the Bulldogs, but neither four-on-four or three-on-three overtime play solved anything, and the game finished in a 4-4 draw.

And though it was the only game of the weekend in which Surrey did not earn two points, the one-point earned from the tie was enough to clinch the division, as the Chiefs dropped a 5-3 game to Prince George the same night.

As his linemate did the night before, it was Shaw who led the Eagles’ offensive charge against the ‘Dogs, with two goals and two assists, while Tambellini chipped in with a goal and an assist.

Michael Stenerson also scored, rounding out the Eagles’ scoring.

Goaltender Michael Santaguida, who stopped 28 shots to earn the win over the Kings Friday, was also in tip-top form, making 48 saves.

With the division crown locked up, Santaguida was given the day off Sunday against the Cowichan Valley Capitals, and backup Brenden Sharp got the start and stopped 27 shots to earn the win.

The Eagles led 3-1 after 40 minutes, but allowed Cowichan to claw back in the third. In overtime, the deadlock did not last long, as Shaw scored his fourth goal of the weekend to end the game.

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