A solid third period against their nearest rivals has moved the Surrey Eagles out of the basement in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland Division.
The Eagles hung on for 40 minutes against the Langley Rivermen Tuesday evening in the South Surrey Arena, then dominated the final frame, scoring two unanswered goals to break a 1-1 tie and go on to a 3-1 victory.
The win improved Surrey’s record to 4-9-0-0 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss), one point better than the 3-10-0-1 Prince George Spruce Kings. Langley remains in second place in the Mainland Division at 8-5-0-0.
It was the Rivermen who dominated play for the most part, outshooting the Eagles in each of the first two periods. Surrey was shorthanded nine times in the game, but with Daniel Davidson turning aside 39 of 40 shots in goal, the Eagles were able to kill off every penalty.
Max Kaufman gave the Rivermen a 1-0 lead with a goal in the last minute of the first period. Matthew Hermary tied the score 1-1, scoring for the Eagles with four minutes to go in the second period.
John Wesley played hero for the home team in the third period, netting the winning goal five minutes in, then adding an insurance score on the powerplay with four minutes remaining in the game.
Outshot 25-16 in the first two periods, the Eagles enjoyed a 15-5 advantage in the final 20 minutes.
The Eagles played once last weekend. They surrendered two goals in a five-minute span in the third period Friday night, and lost 4-3 on the road to the Coquitlam Express.
Surrey carried the play throughout Friday’s game, played at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre, and didn’t trail until the Express broke a 2-2 tie with their quick strike late in the game.
Their most dominant period was the first, a session in which the visiting Eagles outshot the home side 15-6 only to go into the first intermission in a scoreless tie.
The Eagles scored twice in the second period. Darren Hards netted the first two and one-half minutes in, but Coquitlam tied the score less than three minutes later.
Just 45 seconds after the Express pulled even, the Eagles went up 2-1 on Nathan Deyell’s first goal of the season. Luca Leone of the Express tied the game once more, scoring on the powerplay just shy of the nine-minute mark.
Surrey had a slight edge in play in the third period, but it was the home side taking a 4-2 lead just past the midway point. Kyle Star scored with three minutes to go to give the Eagles some hope, but time ran out with Surrey one goal down.
The Eagles outshot their hosts 38-26, but went zero-for-four on the powerplay while the Express scored on their only man-advantage opportunity.
The Eagles will host the Chilliwack Chiefs (6-5-1-2) tonight (Friday) at 7 p.m. in South Surrey, then will travel to Washington for games Saturday night and Sunday afternoon with the Wenatchee Wild. The Wild lead the Mainland Division with an 8-3-1-1 record.