The Surrey Eagles just can’t seem to solve things in 60 minutes.
Twice last week – once Wednesday in Langley against the Rivermen, and again Sunday at home against the Coquitlam Express – the Birds needed overtime to determine a winner.
Surrey has now went to overtime five times in 11 BC Hockey League games – and three since Oct. 8.
“We’ve had a lot of them, that’s for sure,” said Eagles head coach Blaine Neufeld.
The Eagles ended up splitting the recent overtime sessions, losing Wednesday 4-3, before bouncing back Sunday to defeat the Express by the same score.
“It’s nice that we’re starting to get into the win column, and put up some points consistently. The (overtime) games tell you that we’re competitive with all the teams we’re playing, and that’s encouraging,” Neufeld said.
The three-point week gives Surrey a 3-5-0-3 record, good for fourth spot in the Mainland Division, just two points back of Langley but 10 shy of the first-place Chilliwack Chiefs.
Sunday’s win was an impressive one for the young Eagles – they gave up one-goal leads twice, but also battled back late in the game to send it to extra time.
Darius Davidson opened the scoring for the home team, potting a goal just 2:02 into the game, and the slim lead lasted until the final minute of the first period, when Daniel Fritz tied the game for Coquitlam with just 29 seconds left before the intermission.
The second period followed a script similar to the first, with the Eagles scoring first to retake the lead – this time on a goal from the suddenly red-hot Ben Vikich, who has three goals in his last three games.
But again, the Express tied the score late, this time with just one second before the horn, when Daniel Lange scored a power-play goal.
Coquitlam took the lead in the third, on a goal from Brett Supinski, but two minutes later, Joe Drapluk scored his fourth of the year to tie the game, which eventually went to overtime after neither team scored over the final 14 minutes.
Chase McMurphy potted the winner for the home side, scoring 3:16 into extra time.
Eagles’ goaltender Christian Short earned the win for Surrey, stopping 34 of 37 shots he faced.
And Short – by far the busiest goaltender in the BCHL so far this season – was the main reason Surrey managed to scoop up a point Wednesday, too.
Though the Eagles fell to the Rivermen, Short was in top form, stopping 55 shots. He was especially solid in the third, when the Eagles were outshot 22-8.
“He’s played really well for us,” Neufeld said of his netminder, while also adding that shots-against are still a concern for his team.
“We’re still giving up too many shots. Aside from the Langley game, our (numbers) had been going down every game, but it’s an area we have to work on.”
Despite the high shot totals, Neufeld said his team’s work in their own zone hasn’t been of major concern. Where the problem lies, he said, is in the neutral zone – where giveaways are an issue.
“We need to do a better job holding onto the puck, because it has a ripple effect. It gives the other team the puck, and let’s them come back at us with speed.”
Surrey has a busy, three-game weekend upcoming, beginning with a home tilt Friday against the Express.
On Saturday, they head to Vancouver Island to visit the Victoria Grizzlies, and they finish off the three-game slate with a Sunday afternoon game against the Nanaimo Clippers.