Austin Adamson of the Vernon Vipers lunges for the puck against Nicholas Fea of the Surrey Eagles in BCHL play Friday night at Kal Tire Place.

Davidson re-directs Surrey Eagles

Darius Davidson has endured four losing seasons with the Surrey Eagles so the perma-grin he was sporting Friday night was well earned.

Kevin Mitchell

Sports Editor

Darius Davidson has endured four losing seasons with the Surrey Eagles so the perma-grin he was sporting Friday night was well earned.

The towering forward scored 38 seconds into four-on-four overtime as the Eagles shaded the Vernon Vipers 3-2 in B.C. Hockey League action Friday night before 1,855 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Davidson, 20, deftly tipped a point shot by defenceman Nick Minerva past Vernon goalie Cole Demers as Surrey won their second game of the season. Paul McAvoy drew the secondary assist. The Eagles mobbed one another against the side boards like they had won a playoff tilt.

Davidson, a Surrey minor product, smiled when asked if he works on deflections in practice.

“Sometimes,” said the soft-spoken No. 91. “I guess I kind of got lucky at the end but it goes in.”

Davidson, named first star, forced the extra session by levelling the score 2-2 at 9:25 of the third period when Desi Burgart Riverdanced through a few Vipers from the blueline in and fed Davidson for his sixth snipe of the season. Second star Ashton Calder also earned an assist.

Surrey (2-6-1) opened the scoring at 13:20 of the second period when Calder deflected a point shot by Demers. D-man Cole Williams and Jeffrey Stewart pocketed helpers.

The Vipers (5-3-2) equalized four minutes later when Hunter Zandee buried his second of the season from the far left sidewall. Steven Jandric and third star Brett Stapley collected assists.

Vernon went in front midway through the third period when blueliner Mitchell Oliver picked up a wild rebound off the back boards and hit an empty net from 25 feet after Eagle goalie Michael Botiz fell in his crease. Dario Piva of the Eagles had 36 seconds left in a minor for high sticking Christian Cakebread in the face. Captain Riley Brandt and Stapley counted assists.

Vernon outshot Surrey 42-31 in regulation with Botiz – an Oakville, Ont. product recently acquired by the Birds – brilliant most of the night. He recorded a huge sprawling leg save off former WHL Austin Adamson on a first-period power play and stopped a rocket by d-man Carter Stephenson from the left hashmarks with eights second left in the opening 20.

“It was a good overall effort for the guys,” said Davidson, who finished last season with the Penticton Vees. “Our goalie played big and made a couple of huge saves and we figured out a way to get it done in the end. It was a good road win.”

Vernon visits the defending Royal Bank Cup champion West Kelowna Warriors Saturday night, while Surrey takes on the Silverbacks at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks upended the host Warriors 5-3 before 785 fans at Royal LePage Place Friday night.

Davidson said the Eagles have lost a few tough one-goal games and with five players carrying NCAA Division 1 scholarships, he believes they won’t be in the Mainland Division cellar for much longer.

“Obviously, this is a big boost for our morale. Now we have to start getting a few more wins and keep it rolling. If we put in a good effort in Salmon Arm, we’ll stand our ground against them. We have a good team here. I think we’ll be one of the top teams in the league this year.”

Hardest check of the night was tossed by Stephenson on Nicholas Fea near the left sidewall in the Surrey zone midway through the middle frame.

Vernon pressed hard for the winner as they enjoyed a man advantage when Jordan Robert was whistled for slashing with 4:48 remaining. Stephenson wired a heavy shot from the left point which got through Botiz but didn’t cross the goal-line. Brandt had a decent chance on the same powerplay, while Adamson had a good look with seven seconds left.

Said Brandt: “It comes down to a full 60 minutes. We had a good game and a good effort but a couple of breakdowns and we gotta capitalize on some of those scoring opportunities. He (Botiz) had a good game; he stood on his head for those guys. Our goalie played well too; it’s a tough bounce. I’m sure our guys are gonna regroup from tonight and be ready for tomorrow night. It’s one game so you just gotta move on. We know losing sucks and we have to come out every game with a solid effort.”

The Vees grounded the Merritt Centennials 5-1 before 2,860 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Penticton leads the league at 8-1.

Salmon Arm, meanwhile, has acquired forward Haydn Hopkins from the Victoria Grizzlies for future considerations.

Hopkins, a 5-foot-9, 183-pounder, has spent parts of the last three seasons in the Western Hockey League. Originally drafted in the 12th round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by the Saskatoon Blades, the Victoria product has suited up for Saskatoon, the Prince George Cougars, and most recently the Vancouver Giants.

The 18-year-old, right handed shot appeared in 53 WHL games, recording three goals and 10 points. Hopkins compiled 19 goals and 60 points in 67 games with the South Island Royals in the B.C. Major Midget League as a 16-year-old.

To make room for  Hopkins, the Silverbacks traded White Rock’s Ben Evanish to the Whitecourt Wolverines of the AJHL for futures. Evanish, who rang up 41 goals and 70 points with the Valley West Hawks, struggled in the Silvertips’ camp and got in only four regular-season games.

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A new 23-storey condo development – which might also house a new White Rock city hall space – is proposed for the current site of 3 Dogs Brewing on Johnston Road, and will be discussed by the Land Use and Planning committee on Oct. 26. (File photo)
Civic centre could be part of new 23-storey White Rock condo tower

Development proposal to be discussed Oct. 26 by council’s land use committee

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

Lotto winner Erwin Espiritu. (submitted photo: BCLC media relations)
$1M lotto surprise for Surrey dad buying takeout food for son’s birthday

‘When I went to show my son, he said that there was six zeros on the screen, not three’

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Most Read