Surrey Eagles forward Jeff Stewart celebrates a goal Sunday.

Offence leads Surrey Eagles to pair of wins

Home-ice victories over Vernon, Langley boost Surrey up the division standings

Goals came in bunches for the Surrey Eagles last week, and victories did, too, as the BC Hockey League club won twice in three games to pull themselves out of the Mainland Division basement.

On Thursday at South Surrey Arena, the Eagles potted five goals en route to a 5-3 win over the division rival Langley Rivermen. The Rivermen rebounded Friday night in Langley with a win of their own – 6-3 over the Eagles at the George Preston Centre – but on Sunday, the Eagles’ offence exploded, led by a Jeff Stewart hat trick, in an 8-4 home-ice victory over the Vernon Vipers.

With the two wins, the Eagles improved their record to 6-12-2-0 (win-loss-overtime loss-tie), which puts them fifth in the six-team Mainland Division, ahead of the Coquitlam Express, who have the same number of points but have played one more game. Surrey also has one more point than the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the Island Division.

It’s the first time since the end of the 2013/14 season that the Eagles have been above last place in the league standings.

Stewart and linemate Darius Davidson were the offensive catalysts Sunday, as Stewart potted three goals, including the game-winner, while Davidson had a goal and three assists.

Stewart, Andrew Kemp, Desi Burgart and defenceman Nick Minerva scored in the first period to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead at the first intermission, and though Vernon scored twice in the second – with Stewart’s second goal sandwiched between them – the home side fired home three more in the final frame, including another from Burgart, to secure the win.

“It feels pretty awesome to get three… our whole line was going tonight,” Stewart told Eagles play-by-play announcer Kyle Balzer after the game.

The Eagles’ power-play continued to find success Sunday, too, going three-for-six. The team has a 28.9 per-cent success rate with the man-advantage, which is best in the entire 17-team league.

Goaltender Michael Botiz – playing his sixth straight game – earned the win, stopping 40 shots on goal.

The two wins bring to five the number of victories on home ice for the Eagles, who only have one win away from the Olympic-sized ice sheet at South Surrey Arena. And though head coach Blaine Neufeld stressed to Peace Arch News last week the importance of finding success on the road – “We have to find some inner grit (for road games)” he said – they’re pleased with their continued success at home.

“I think we definitely take advantage of home ice, the bigger ice surface,” Stewart said. “We have a lot of extra room out there.”

On Thursday, Surrey’s offence was led by rookie forward Ashton Calder, who had a pair of goals, while Stewart and defenceman Cory Babichuk each had a goal and an assist.

The Rivermen were no slouches in the offensive department, either, and led 1-0 after one period and 3-2 after two before the Eagles mounted a comeback attempt with three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes, including two from Calder.

Langley earned a measure of revenge Friday night, however, peppering Botiz with six goals on 42 shots, while the Eagles managed just 18 shots on Langley goalie Bo Didur.

Calder, Jordan Robert and captain Paul McAvoy were the Surrey goal-scorers.

The Eagles will look to keep their home-ice momentum going on Thursday, when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings in South Surrey, before heading out on the road this weekend. On Saturday, they’ll head to Port Alberni to face the Bulldogs, and on Sunday they’ll square off against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Just Posted

Mother’s death causes singer to cancel Surrey Fusion Festival performance

Revised schedule released with Mankirt Aulakh replacing Sharry Mann

New day camp for Surrey children living with cancer, blood disorders

West Coast Kids Cancer Foundation running another session at Surrey school

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

TONIGHT: Eagle Eyes to headline Concerts for the Pier in White Rock

East Beach event to feature The Fab Fourever

Toilet, bathtub among junk dumped behind Scott Road thrift store, costing operators money

‘I wish people would appreciate what we do, and not dump their stuff,’ frustrated manager says

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read