The Surrey Eagles picked an inopportune time to sink into a tailspin, as their current losing streak – which now sits at five games – has coincided with a string of victories from BC Hockey League division rivals.
The Eagles dropped both games on their Thanksgiving weekend schedule, first losing 6-4 to the BCHL-leading Powell River Kings Friday at South Surrey Arena, and then dropping a 3-1 contest to the Langley Rivermen, who’ve reeled off six consecutive victories to take a stranglehold on the Mainland Division.
The streaking Rivermen sit with 19 points, nine better than the fourth-place Eagles, who have a 5-8 record.
Against the Kings – who’ve run their record to 10-1 this season – special teams played a key role in the contest, as the teams combined for five power-play markers. Powell River was 2-for-3 with the man-advantage while Surrey converted on 50 per cent of their power-play opportunities (3-for-6).
Mitchell Fyffe opened the scoring for the Eagles Friday, scoring at even-strength 6:15 into the contest, and then the teams traded power-play goals before the first intermission – Jarid Lukosevicious scored for the Kings, and Brett Mulcahy replied for Surrey.
In the decisive second period, Lukosevicious – who was named the game’s first star – scored again for the visitors, tying the game 2-2. Brian Rideout, on the power play, made it 3-2 Powell River under two minutes later, and Jarryd Leugn extended the lead to 4-2 midway through the frame.
In the third, Nic Pierog and Joseph Drapiuk each scored power-play goals for the Eagles, but the Kings answered with two goals of their own – first Stephen Hiff scored a short-handed tally, and with 17 seconds left in the game, Kurt Keats, who had three assists, scored to make it 6-4.
Goaltender Victor Adamo was tagged with the loss for Surrey, despite stopping 33 shots.
Compared to Friday’s 10-goal outburst, Saturday’s affair at the Langley Events Centre was decidedly more defensive.
Neither the Eagles nor the Rivermen scored in the opening 20 minutes, and in the middle stanza, Fyffe and Langley’s Jakob Reichert traded goals.
The Rivermen pulled ahead in the third, with Mitch McClain scoring on the power play, and Nathan Craft added an insurance marker, scoring into an empty net with eight seconds left on the clock.
Bo Didur took the loss in net for Surrey, stopping 22 of 24 Langley shots. The Eagles were 0-for-5 on the power play.
Surrey will try to right the ship this weekend with a pair of home games against the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings. The Kings and Birds will square off at South Surrey on both Friday and Saturday nights.
The Spruce Kings sport a 7-6 win-loss mark, and sit five points up on the Eagles in the division.
Surrey also had a rare midweek game against the Coquitlam Express Wednesday, but the game was played after Peace Arch News’ press deadlines.