Surrey Eagles, Langley Rivermen tied after two games
The Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen alternated shutouts on the weekend, leaving their BC Hockey League first-round series tied at 1-1 through the first two games.
Game 3 was played at the Langley Events Centre Monday night after Peace Arch News deadlines.
Friday's opener at South Surrey was a tightly contested affair, with Eagles' netminder Michael Santaguida stopping all 32 Langley shots he faced. Surrey managed just 28 shots on Langley keeper James Barr, who was tagged with the loss.
Rookie forward Kevin Killistoff – a Langley native – opened the scoring for Surrey at the 14:38 mark of the first period when linemate Joel Gaudet chipped the puck past a Rivermen defenceman at the Eagles' blue line and charged up-ice on a two-one-one with Killistoff. After a cross-ice feed from Gaudet, Killistoff – who scored just seven times in the regular season – fired the puck past Barr for what turned out to be the winning goal.
Surrey had plenty of other first-period scoring opportunities – including a handful of off-man rushes and one highlight-reel individual effort from Demico Hannoun as he charged down the left wing – but entered the first intermission up just one goal.
Neither team scored in the second period, and Surrey didn't add an insurance goal until midway through the third frame, when, with the team on the power play, Adam Tambellini deflected a Brady Shaw shot past Barr.
Down 2-0, the visitors pressured the Eagles to get on the board, but Santaguida came up big a number of times, with no save bigger than his pad save on Langley's Derek Sutcliffe on a breakaway.
"He made some huge saves, had some stretches where we played well in their zone, but he made some big saves in the second period on some scrambles around the net, and obviously, making a breakaway save there with three minutes left, could end up being one of the changes in that game," Eagles coach Matt Erhart said after the game.
"Tonight he showed everybody why he's the top goalie in the league."
In Game 2 Saturday night – also in South Surrey – it was Barr's turn to shine between the pipes, as the Langley goalie turned away 42 shots in a 1-0 victory, including 17 saves in the third period when Surrey, down a goal, pressed for the equalizer.
Michael Stenerson had the Eagles' best chance to tie the game, when he finished off a two-on-one in the third period, but was robbed by Barr. Later in the period, Barr also pulled the puck off the goal line on a Tambellini scoring chance.
"I thought it was a pretty good game, back and forth," Erhart said.
"In the third, I thought we took control and threw everything at them. From the bench, it looked like (Barr) had six or seven diving saves that (normally) you might see once a game."
The game's only goal came 7:30 into the first period, when Evan Campbell converted on the power play.
Game 4 of the best-of-five series will be played tonight (Tuesday) in Langley, and if necessary, a fifth and deciding game will be held Wednesday at South Surrey Arena.