Late goal gives Surrey Eagles a split on road trip

Jonah Renouf scores late goal Saturday to give Surrey a 2-1 win over Prince George Spruce Kings.

A late goal from Jonah Renouf Saturday night in Prince George salvaged what could have turned out to be another rough weekend for the Surrey Eagles.

On Saturday against the Prince George Spruce Kings, Renouf scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal with just 1:08 left in the third period to give the visiting Birds a 2-1 advantage.

The goal – and the victory – allowed Surrey to escape their two-game Prince George road trip with a 1-1 record, and helped erase the memory of Friday night’s 7-1 loss to the Kings.

Surrey sits fourth in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland Division, with a record of 10-15-1-0, but are just one point back of the third-place Coquitlam Express, who’ve lost two straight.

Friday night’s debacle at the Prince George Coliseum began with the Spruce Kings jumping out to a 2-0 lead by the 13:17 mark of the first period, with both goals coming off the stick of Brogan O’Brien.

O’Brien completed the hat trick in the third period, scoring the team’s seventh goal.

Surrey forward Dalton Heinen tallied for the Eagles near the end of the first period, but the second frame was the visiting team’s undoing.

Prince George scored four times in the period, including a natural hat trick – three straight goals – from Brent Lashuk. Lashuk’s third goal chased Eagles’ starter Devon Fordyce from the net, and he was replaced by Bo Didur.

Surrey allowed 50 shots on net in the loss, while managing just 29 on Spruce Kings’ goalie Jesse Janks.

The following night, neither team scored in the first period, and the Eagles took their first lead of the weekend when 20-year-old forward Luke Sandler – playing just his second game in Surrey colours after being acquired from the Trail Smoke Eaters last week – found the back of the net.

The 1-0 lead lasted until the third period, when Prince George’s Jake LeBrun tied the game on the power-play. The game stayed knotted at 1-1 until Renouf’s late-game heroics put the visitors back on top.

And while a .500 road trip is often what coaches say they aim for – at minimum – it does little to help the Eagles claw back towards the top of the division. They still trail the division-leading Langley Rivermen by 11 points, and the Eagles have not have a winning weekend since mid-October, when they earned a win and a tie against Prince George. The team has yet to have a weekend in which they won every game.

Head coach Peter Schaefer has, in recent weeks, stressed consistency, especially in the defensive end of the rink. And while he’d mentioned before the Prince George road trip that he’d seen signs of improvement, giving up seven goals Friday may suggest otherwise.

Surrey has given up 102 goals through 26 games this season, which is tied for third-worst in the BCHL, alongside Chilliwack. Only Trail and Alberni Valley have given up more.

On the flip side, they’ve scored the second-most goals in the Mainland Division, and boast two of the league’s top-five goal-scorers in Brett Mulcahy (second, with 18 goals) and Nic Pierog (fourth, with 17).

This weekend, the Eagles head back out on the road for a Friday tilt with the Merritt Centennials, before returning home Saturday to host the Cents at South Surrey Arena.

The Eagles also have a rare midweek home game next Wednesday, against Coquitlam.

Roberts dealt

In order to acquire Sandler – the Illinois native who made his Eagles debut last weekend  – from the Trail Smoke Eaters, Surrey send forward Michael Roberts to Trail.

Roberts, 18, had four goals and eight assists in 24 games with Surrey this season. He was acquired in the off-season from Vernon as part of the Adam Tambellini trade that also sent Mason Blacklock, Jordan Klimek and Demico Hannoun to Vernon.

Sandler, a six-foot-three, 205-pound forward, had not played in the BCHL this season – he had been with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL – but last year with Trail scored 22 goals and added 21 assists in 50 games.

Just Posted

Cloverdale’s 5 most-read stories of the week, March 17–22

Lottery ticket lawsuit, mysterious holes in tree trunks, and more

What’s happening in Cloverdale this weekend, March 22 to 24

Looking for something to do in Cloverdale this weekend?

Delta asking for joint provincial-federal review of ‘cashless casinos’

Call for system to prevent money laundering comes as construction is set to begin on Ladner casino

Ambulance response time concerns White Rock resident

Ambulance arrives 22 minutes after call for service

World Water Day celebrated in South Surrey

City of White Rock manager of utilities Saad Jasim to give a presentation on water Monday

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read