Surrey Eagles forward Jeff Stewart celebrates a goal Sunday.

Offence leads Surrey Eagles to pair of wins

Home-ice victories over Vernon, Langley boost Surrey up the division standings

Goals came in bunches for the Surrey Eagles last week, and victories did, too, as the BC Hockey League club won twice in three games to pull themselves out of the Mainland Division basement.

On Thursday at South Surrey Arena, the Eagles potted five goals en route to a 5-3 win over the division rival Langley Rivermen. The Rivermen rebounded Friday night in Langley with a win of their own – 6-3 over the Eagles at the George Preston Centre – but on Sunday, the Eagles’ offence exploded, led by a Jeff Stewart hat trick, in an 8-4 home-ice victory over the Vernon Vipers.

With the two wins, the Eagles improved their record to 6-12-2-0 (win-loss-overtime loss-tie), which puts them fifth in the six-team Mainland Division, ahead of the Coquitlam Express, who have the same number of points but have played one more game. Surrey also has one more point than the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the Island Division.

It’s the first time since the end of the 2013/14 season that the Eagles have been above last place in the league standings.

Stewart and linemate Darius Davidson were the offensive catalysts Sunday, as Stewart potted three goals, including the game-winner, while Davidson had a goal and three assists.

Stewart, Andrew Kemp, Desi Burgart and defenceman Nick Minerva scored in the first period to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead at the first intermission, and though Vernon scored twice in the second – with Stewart’s second goal sandwiched between them – the home side fired home three more in the final frame, including another from Burgart, to secure the win.

“It feels pretty awesome to get three… our whole line was going tonight,” Stewart told Eagles play-by-play announcer Kyle Balzer after the game.

The Eagles’ power-play continued to find success Sunday, too, going three-for-six. The team has a 28.9 per-cent success rate with the man-advantage, which is best in the entire 17-team league.

Goaltender Michael Botiz – playing his sixth straight game – earned the win, stopping 40 shots on goal.

The two wins bring to five the number of victories on home ice for the Eagles, who only have one win away from the Olympic-sized ice sheet at South Surrey Arena. And though head coach Blaine Neufeld stressed to Peace Arch News last week the importance of finding success on the road – “We have to find some inner grit (for road games)” he said – they’re pleased with their continued success at home.

“I think we definitely take advantage of home ice, the bigger ice surface,” Stewart said. “We have a lot of extra room out there.”

On Thursday, Surrey’s offence was led by rookie forward Ashton Calder, who had a pair of goals, while Stewart and defenceman Cory Babichuk each had a goal and an assist.

The Rivermen were no slouches in the offensive department, either, and led 1-0 after one period and 3-2 after two before the Eagles mounted a comeback attempt with three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes, including two from Calder.

Langley earned a measure of revenge Friday night, however, peppering Botiz with six goals on 42 shots, while the Eagles managed just 18 shots on Langley goalie Bo Didur.

Calder, Jordan Robert and captain Paul McAvoy were the Surrey goal-scorers.

The Eagles will look to keep their home-ice momentum going on Thursday, when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings in South Surrey, before heading out on the road this weekend. On Saturday, they’ll head to Port Alberni to face the Bulldogs, and on Sunday they’ll square off against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

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

Just Posted

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
Thomas Dawson Peacock
Surrey man, 32, charged with sexual interference

Incidents alleged to have happened in Surrey and Abbotsford

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case double in Fraser North health area, up 50% in Vancouver

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

BC Hockey League commissioner Chris Hebb says the league is still on track to begin regular-season play in early December. (BCHL photo)
BCHL still on track to begin regular season in December

Commish hopeful that league can “slide right into the regular season” after successful preseason

(Delta Police Department photo)
No offence in second incident involving a teen girl being approached in Tsawwassen: police

Police still investigating incident on Oct. 15 where teen girl was approached by older man in a burgundy car

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

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

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read