The Surrey Eagles’ pre-Christmas struggles continued last week, as the BC Hockey League squad failed to earn a victory for the second weekend in a row.
Coming off a Vancouver Island road trip in which they lost twice, the Eagles earned a 5-5 tie with the Powell River Kings, and followed that with a 2-0 loss at the hands of the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings.
The one-point weekend resulted in the the Spruce Kings leapfrogging them in the Mainland Division standings; the Eagles now sit in third place, three points back of Prince George and seven behind the division-leading Chilliwack Chiefs.
On Friday, Surrey ended its modest two-game losing streak by playing Powell River to a tie, but they let an extra point get away from them – the Kings rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the final 10 minutes to tie the game.
After Matthew Dupont gave the visitors a 1-0 first-period lead, the Eagles controlled the middle frame, scoring five times. Demico Hannoun, Mason Blacklock and Stefan Burzan all scored in the first 7:32 of the period – chasing Powell River starting goaltender Jonah Imoo. Powell River’s Jarryd Leung made it 3-2 just three minutes later, before Eagles’ Drew Best and Craig Wyszomirski scored less than three minutes apart to make it 5-2.
In the third, however, the Kings scored three goals on 10 shots. First, Jordan Burns scored on the power play, and Evan Richardson and Luke Nogard added goals later in the period.
In overtime, Surrey peppered Powell River backup netminder Braeden Ostepchuk with 10 shots – compared to just one Kings’ shot on Eagles goalie Michael Santaguida – but neither team could break the deadlock.
The tie put a dent in the Eagles’ impressive string of strong third periods. Heading into the contest, the Birds were a perfect 11-0 when leading after 40 minutes.
In Sunday’s shutout loss to the Spruce Kings, the Eagles were stymied by Prince George goaltender Kirk Thompson, a Surrey native and former major-midget star of the Valley West Hawks.
Thompson, who picked BCHL player of the week honors earlier this season, stopped 41 Surrey shots to earn his second shutout of the year.
Both Prince George goals came in the third period, as Trevor Esau scored at the 5:46 mark and Coltyn Hansen scored a power-play empty-netter with 14 seconds left in the game.
The Eagles struggled on the power play Sunday, going 0-for-7; they failed to score in three extra-man opportunities Friday, and saw their overall power-play percentage drop to 12th best in the BCHL.
The team is now off until after Christmas, with the next game slated for Dec. 28 when the division-leading Chiefs pay a visit to South Surrey Arena. The following day, the Eagles head to Chilliwack for a rematch, and on Dec. 30 they complete a three-games-in-three-nights stretch on the road against the Coquitlam Express.