Sandwiched between a pair of lopsided losses, the Surrey Eagles gave themselves an early Christmas gift on the weekend – a much-needed victory.
The struggling BC Hockey League squad, which has won just three games since Oct. 19 and two of its last seven, defeated the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings 3-1 at South Surrey Arena Friday night.
The victory came two days after a 9-0 loss on the road to the Vernon Vipers Wednesday, and two days before a 6-1 loss to Victoria.
Despite falling further back in the Lower Mainland Division with the two losses, Saturday’s victory – just the Eagles’ fifth in 34 games – was a morale boost for the club after a tough game Wednesday that saw them fall behind to the Vipers 6-0 after just 20 minutes of play.
Neufeld said he could tell in pre-game warmups Wednesday that his team – coming off the lengthy Okanagan bus trip – wasn’t as fresh as they could be.
“(The) things you stress in that type of situation are attention to detail and preparation, and it wasn’t there today,” he said, adding that the mood amongst his players after the game was one of frustration, which made Friday’s rebound performance all the more important.
“You can’t expect it (morale) to be all that great. I think our kids do a fairly good job of kind of hitting the reset button… There’s a lot of anger and there should be. You don’t want kids to just roll over and allow it to happen,” Neufeld said.
Against the Spruce Kings, Latrell Charleson paced the attack with two power-play goals, while Ben Vikich also scored.
The Eagles now have a break for Christmas, and return to the ice Sunday, Dec. 28, when they travel to Chilliwack to take on the Chiefs.