Eagles' season ends after back-to-back losses to Langley

Surrey Eagles’ forward Jonah Renouf tries to slip a puck past Langley netminder Brock Crossthwaite during a first-round game.  - Garett James photo
Surrey Eagles’ forward Jonah Renouf tries to slip a puck past Langley netminder Brock Crossthwaite during a first-round game.
— image credit: Garett James photo

There will be no repeat run to the RBC Cup for the Surrey Eagles.

Instead, the Eagles’ season ended Tuesday night, with the team bowing out of the BC Hockey League playoffs after a 6-1 Game 6 loss Tuesday night at South Surrey Arena.

A day earlier, the Eagles lost Game 5 in Langley, 3-0. The two-game stretch marked the only time in the back-and-forth series that one of the teams lost two straight.

But though the series was closely contested – far more than one might have predicted, given the 29-point difference between the two squads’ regular-season records – Game 6 was never really in doubt for the Rivermen, who were the BCHL’s top team this season.

Evan Anderson gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 6:33 into the first period, and Langley stretched that lead to 3-0 by the end of the second, on a power-play goal from Viktor Dombrovsky and an even-strength marker from Tyson Witala.

Witala struck again just 38 seconds into the third – again, a power-play goal – to make it 4-0, and though Surrey captain Danton Heinen got one back for the home team with a goal of his own, it was not enough to bridge such a sizable gap.

Two-and-a-half minutes after Heinen’s marker, Langley’s Austin Azurdia made it 5-1, and Darien Craighead’s power-play goal late in the game rounded out the scoring and sent the Rivermen on to Round 2.

The Rivermen power play was a near-perfect 3-for-4 while the Eagles’ play with the man-advantage – which had been among the league’s best in the first four games of the series, clicking at nearly a 30 per cent success rate – struggled, going 0-for-3.

Surrey goaltender Bo Didur was peppered with 45 shots in the loss, stopping 39.

Monday at the Langley Events Centre, the Eagles’ offence also struggled, failing to score at all in the Game 5 shutout loss.  Azurdia scored twice for Langley, and Tanner Johnson tacked on an empty-netter.

The game was marred, however, by a nasty hit in the second period in which Langley captain Mitch McLain ran over Didur in the net. He was assessed a five-minute major for goaltender interference and a game misconduct.

On Tuesday, he was suspended two games for his actions, meaning he’ll miss one more game in the second round.

The Rivermen are set to play the Coquitlam Express in the second round of playoffs.

The Express, who were the Mainland Divison’s third seed, knocked off the No. 2-seeded Prince George Spruce Kings in six games, winning the decision Game 6 2-1 Tuesday night.

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