A week ago, the Surrey Eagles qualified for the BC Hockey League playoffs.
Now, they’re working on reeling in the second-place Chilliwack Chiefs – their likely first-round opponent – with home-ice advantage on the ice.
On Friday night at South Surrey Arena, the Eagles edged the Chiefs 3-2 in a shootout, gaining one point on them in the Mainland Division rankings, and a day later in Chilliwack, the South Surrey squad moved two points closer after a 3-0 shutout in the rematch.
The two victories boosted the Eagles’ record to above .500 for the first time in months – 22-21-3-4 (win-loss-overtime loss-shootout loss) – and they are seven points back of the Chiefs. Each team has eight games left to play in the regular season. If the standings remain the same, the Chiefs would have home-ice advantage in a best-of-seven first-round series.
The fourth-place Langley Rivermen, who are five points back of the Eagles, are currently on pace to line up against the first-place Coquitlam Express, who have clinched top spot in the division and lost just eight games all season.
In addition to picking up two points, Saturday’s victory was also important for the Birds because it marked the return of starting goaltender Tommy Scarfone, who missed all of January due to injury. He stopped 43 shots en route to his first career BCHL shutout.
On Friday, Surrey’s other netminder – recently acquired Reece Klassen – also found himself in a starring role, stopping 41 shots during regulation and overtime, and then all three Chilliwack shootout attempts.
Christophe Tellier scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Eagles the win.
“Obviously, it’s always nice to have goaltending that can steal you a game,” said Eagles head coach Cam Keith after Saturday’s shutout.
“We played really good hockey there for about a month, and then we got a bit hot and cold. But the times we’ve been cold our goaltending has stepped up. And we’re able to score when we get our chances. Between the two, that’s what a good team does.”
The Eagles are back on the road this week, for a Wednesday game in Penticton against the Vees, and on Friday return home for a date with the visiting Wenatchee Wild. They’ll wrap up their week with a 4 p.m. Sunday home game against the Nanaimo Clippers, who are captained by Semiahmoo Minor Hockey alum Ethan Scardina.