As far as heartbreaking defeats go, the Surrey Eagles’ 5-4 loss Saturday to the Chilliwack Chiefs may rank among the all-time worst.
The South Surrey BC Hockey League squad, losers of 14 straight heading into Saturday’s game, seemed poised to finally break their losing skid with an upset road win over the Mainland Division’s top squad.
The Eagles, buoyed by the play of Junior ‘B’ call-up goaltender Tyler Read – who stopped 41 shots – led the Chiefs 3-1 after two periods of play, and still led by the same two-goal margin with 4:53 left in the game.
Then, everything fell apart.
The Chiefs scored four times in the last five minutes – including a pair off the stick of Jake Hand, plus an empty-netter from Kurt Black – to steal the win from the visiting Birds.
After the game, Read, a 20-year-old White Rock native who was called up in the absence of the team’s injured starting goalie Christian Short, took to Twitter to express his disappointment in the final score, calling it “the toughest (loss) I have had in 12 years of hockey.”
The Eagles – who also lost 3-1 to the Langley Rivermen Wednesday and again Friday, 4-1 to the Chiefs – have just three wins on the year (3-20-0-3). The team’s last victory came Oct. 19 against the Coquitlam Express.
Saturday’s game started out with much promise for the Eagles.
Spencer Unger gave the team an early lead, scoring six minutes into the game, and after Chilliwack’s Rory Bell tied it four minutes later, the Eagles replied quickly.
Just 1:02 after Bell’s equalizer, Darius Davidson restored the Eagles lead. In the second period, Davidson scored his second of the game – this time shorthanded – to make it 3-1 heading into the third.
The Eagles will look to get their fourth win of the year tomorrow (Wednesday) when they travel to Coquitlam to face the Express.
Surrey has a light schedule this weekend, with just one – a Friday nighter at South Surrey Arena against the Powell River Kings.