The Surrey Eagles came within a goal of winning a fourth straight game Saturday night, but in the end settled for a weekend split with the Langley Rivermen.
Friday in South Surrey, the Eagles beat their division rivals 5-3 – the team’s third straight victory – but on Saturday, dropped a 6-5 decision.
On Saturday at the Langley Events Centre, the Eagles fell behind the home team early, trailing 3-1 after 20 minutes, but mounted something of a comeback in the middle frame, scoring three times to Langley’s two.
In the third, Mario Puskarich – who finished with a hat trick for the Rivermen – scored an empty-net goal with 43 seconds left to make it 6-4. Mason Blacklock, who played for the Langley Chiefs during the 2010/11 season, brought the deficit to within one with seven seconds left in the game.
The Semiahmoo Minor Hockey product also scored the Eagles’ first-period goal, completing a tic-tac-toe passing play with Nic Pierog and Devon Toews.
Eagles’ Jordan Klimek, a Langley native, Demico Hannoun and Trevor Cameron also scored for Surrey. Klimek’s second-period marker was the first of his BC Hockey League career.
Michael Santaguida made 30 saves for the Eagles, but was tagged with the loss.
Friday, the Eagles’ weekend began with a strong performance from newcomer Brady Shaw, 20, who was acquired a week ago from Coquitlam in exchange for captain Brandon Morley.
Shaw, who scored twice in his Eagles’ debut last weekend, scored another two goals in Friday’s win, while adding an assist. In three games with his new team, he’s tallied six points.
Michael Stenerson opened the scoring, and Colton Mackie and Blacklock, into an empty net, also lit the lamp for the home team. Hannoun had three assists.
Surrey scored once in each of the first two periods before the offensive floodgates opened in the third for both squads.
The Eagles scored twice more in the first 10 minutes of the third to take a 4-0 lead, before Mitch McLain, who scored twice, and Mark Whiteley, scored for the Rivermen to make it 4-3.
Santaguida was again in net for the South Surrey-based team, stopping 31 Langley shots.
The Eagles are perched fourth in the BCHL’s Mainland Division, with an 8-6-0-1 record, two points back of the Coquitlam Express and seven off the pace of the division-leading Prince George Spruce Kings.
The Eagles and Rivermen will renew rivalries again this week, in a rare mid-week game Thursday in Langley.
On Friday, Surrey travels to Merritt for a road game against the Centennials, and Saturday returns home to take on Prince George.