- BC Games
Undefeated week ends Eagles’ slide
So much for that losing streak.
After struggling for much of the last two weeks, the Surrey Eagles – losers of five straight games since the calendar turned to October – won twice and tied another last week, to keep pace with the top teams in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland Division.
Last Wednesday, the Eagles brought their losing skid to a halt with a 5-4 victory over the Coquitlam Express, and at South Surrey Arena on the weekend, earned three of a possible four points against the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings, after a 6-1 win Friday and a 4-4 tie Saturday night.
The Eagle still sit fourth in the five-team Mainland Division, but are just five points back of the first-place Langley Rivermen; a week ago, they trailed by nine.
In Wednesday’s road win over Coquitlam, the Eagles got off to a hot start.
They scored twice in the first five minutes – on goals by Brett Mulcahy and Joseph Drapluk – and led 3-1 by the first intermission after Nic Pierog tacked on a power-play goal with one second left before the buzzer.
In the second period, the Eagles’ power-play struggled, giving up two short-handed markers – to Ryan Rosenthal and Canon Pieper – in the first 4:15 of the frame, but Drapiuk and Mulcahy each scored again later in the period to restore the Eagles’ two-goal lead.
In the third period, Coquitlam’s Jace Hennig – on the power play – scored the only goal, to make it 5-4, and Surrey held on for the victory over the final 15 minutes of play.
Jonaf Renoug and Danton Heinen each added two assists for the Birds, while goaltender Devon Fordyce – whom the Eagles acquired earlier this month after he was cut by the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds – made 31 saves to earn his first win in Eagles’ colours.
On Friday, Pierog stole the show for the home team, scoring three goals to pace the Eagles’ offence in the 6-1 win. Mulcahy tacked on two goals and added an assist, while Heinen – with a goal and two helpers – Drapiuk and Renouf, who both had two assist, all had multi-point games.
Fordyce again backstopped the home squad, making 28 saves in the win.
The 19-year-old netminder – who also has WHL experience with the Prince George Cougars – was even more impressive in Saturday’s 4-4 tie with the Spruce Kings. He made 41 saves, including three in overtime, to help Surrey earn a point in a game in which they were outshot 44-27.
Heinen, Mulcahy, Pierog and Matthew Dawson scored for the Eagles, with Dawson’s game-tying marker coming with just 5:08 left in the third period.
Brett Lashuk had two goals for the Kings, and Chad Staley had a goal and an assist.
Neither team could grab the extra point in overtime, with just five shots fired on net between the two squads.
The Eagles will get the opportunity to extend their undefeated streak this weekend, when they travel down the highway Saturday to face the Chilliwack Chiefs at Prospera Centre, before returning home Sunday afternoon for a home date with the West Kelowna Warriors, who will be finished off a three-games-in-three-nights road trip.
In addition to brining in Fordyce – whose rights were acquired from the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in exchange for defenceman Zane Schwartz – the Eagles have made a few other tweaks to the roster.
On Oct. 16, Eagles’ coach/general manager Peter Schaefer dealt White Rock native Joel Gaudet to the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in exchange for forward Garrett Forster.
As well, Surrey added 1994-born defenceman Brian Drapluk – brother of current Eagles forward Joseph – to the roster. The twins – natives of Penbrooke Pines, Fla. – both played last season with the Minnesota Wilderness of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.