Surrey Eagles to face Langley in first round of BCHL playoffs

Surrey Eagles to face Langley in first round of BCHL playoffs

BCHL’s best-of-seven first rounds begins March 2

The Surrey Eagles have known for more than a month that they’d be participating in the first-round of BC Hockey League playoffs, but it took until the last weekend of the regular season to find out who’d they play.

And the answer is the Langley Rivermen.

The first-round Mainland Division matchup was confirmed Saturday night on Vancouver Island, after the Eagles defeated the Cowichan Valley Capitals 5-3. The Rivermen also won Saturday – 4-0 over the Merritt Centennials – to cement both clubs into the second- and third-place spots in the division.

“They’re a really good team – high energy, a big, strong, physical team – and we’re going to have to be able to match that physicality and be able to out-skate those guys,” said Surrey Eagles assistant coach Linden Saip.

“It’s going to be tough the first couple of games not having home-ice advantage with the last change. … We feel like we’re quite deep and have the ability to score and it’s just being able to out-compete the opponent.

“That’s going to be the biggest thing because we know Langley’s got a hard-working team.”

On Friday, both Surrey and Langley earned a single point in the standings, with the Birds earning one in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Nanaimo Clippers and Langley tying Coquitlam 2-2.

The Rivermen finished up one point ahead of the Eagles – 63 to 62 – and therefore will have home-ice advantage in the first-round, best-of-seven series.

Had the Eagles won their final game of the season Sunday, the situation would have been reversed.

The Eagles finish with a regular-season record of 26-22-8-2 (win-loss-overtime loss-tie) – the first time the team has had a record above .500 since 2012/13, when they finished atop the Mainland Division with 35 wins and just 13 losses.

BCHL playoffs start this weekend.

On Sunday, the Eagles wrapped up the regular season with a 4-3 double-overtime loss to the Victoria Grizzlies – a game in which Birds’ netminder Mario Cavaliere stopped 55 shots.

Ten of Cavaliere’s saves came in the two overtime sessions, and he kept his team in the game until Victoria’s Carter Berger finally broke the deadlock 2:45 into the second OT period.

Prior to Berger’s winner, the game was a back-and-forth affair, with Surrey’s Chase Danol and Aaron White scoring in the first period – sandwiched around a Grizzlies’ goal from Finn Withey – but the home side tied it 2-2 in the second on a goal from Dayne Finnson.

In the third, the teams traded goals again, with Ryan Brushett scoring his 21st of the season to give the Eagles a lead, which lasted only 10 minutes until Ethan Nother tied it up in the final minute, sending the game into extra time.

Saturday’s game in Cowichan – against the last-place Capitals – was another one-goal game, but this time went the Eagles’ way.

Danol led the charge with two goals, John Wesley and Brushett each had a goal and an assist, and White and Desi Burgart chipped in with a pair of helpers. Daniel Davidson was between the pipes for Surrey, earning the win while making 31 saves.

Wesley’s goal gave him 37 on the season – tying him for the league lead with Wenatchee Wild’s Jasper Weatherby, who also led the BCHL in points with 74, beating Surrey’s Ty Westgard by four.

Wesley and Westgard – who both left the Eagles for stints in the Western Hockey League before returning to the team – are two of just a handful of players, including Davidson, who were members of the team during its lethargic two-year run in which they finished last in the BCHL.

Wesley told Peace Arch News in November that a playoff berth for the Eagles would be extra sweet this season, considering where the team was situated just a few seasons prior.

“We had some tough seasons, back when I was here before,” he said at the time.

“I grew up watching the Surrey Eagles, so it was always a dream of mine to play here… To make the playoffs here would be super exciting.”

– with files from Troy Landreville

BCHLSurrey Eagles

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

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Crews work to clear the aftermath of a three-vehicle collision that occurred Wednesday morning (Jan. 20, 2021) at the intersection of 16 Avenue and 156 Street. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Three-vehicle collision in South Surrey

Extensive front-end damage caused in morning crash

New United States Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and President Joe Biden (right) are sworn in at U.S. inauguration ceremonies Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C.. (Saul Loeb/Pool photos via AP)
Surrey Board of Trade highlights innovation, policy changes as new U.S. president sworn in

COVID-19, border re-opening among issues affecting city, SBOT says

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
OUR VIEW: Surrey Police Service continues to draw from RCMP well

Again, it flies in the face of mayor’s election campaign pitch that Surrey needs a police force whose ranks live in this city

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Lower Mainland this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

A Langley woman said she was shaken by the angry encounter. (Google Maps)
Woman shaken after belligerent encounter with unmasked man in Langley store

A man angry about vaccines berated a fellow shopper, a witness said

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

Most Read