Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Another New Beginning

It was in July 2012 that I began this blog, the Eagles Insider, and wrote my first post where I talked about joining the Surrey Eagles as the play-by-play broadcaster and Director of Media Relations and my excitement at the new opportunity.

Now, just over a year later, I will not be back with the Eagles for the 2013-2014 season as I will take up a new position as one of the play-by-play voices of the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. This is a great chance for me to take my broadcasting career to the next level, and I'd like to thank Ron Toigo and the Giants ownership group for granting me this opportunity. I'm incredibly excited to make the jump to the "dub" for this coming season.

Having said that, my year in Surrey with the Eagles will be one that I will never forget. I was welcomed with open arms into the organization by everyone involved, and we had a phenomenal season both on and off the ice. Experiencing a run to the Royal Bank Cup Semi-Final and having the chance to broadcast some of the most exciting Junior A games in the country was an honour and a privilige.

I want to thank Chuck Westgard, the Eagles ownership group and Ronnie Paterson for giving me the opportunity to be a part of an unbelieveable season with the team. I'd also like to thank the front office staff, particularly Sharon Anderson and Andrew Delbaere, who helped me out a lot while I got my feet under me in the early stages of the season and brought a great passion and enthusiasm to the job. I also really enjoyed working with Garrett and Damon James. These two guys are phenomenal photographers who are going places.

On the hockey side of things, it was a pleasure to work with Matt Erhart, Peter Schaefer, Brad Tobin, Jim Babcock, Ian Groskleg, Ian Mason, Nick Johnston and many others that I'm sure I've forgotten to mention, and I have many fond memories of my time at the SSA. As for the players on the team, I couldn't have asked for a greater group of young men to spend a season covering, both on the ice and off the ice. While the team achieved some incredible things, the players were always accommodating in their dealings with me, and I really enjoyed every minute I spent with the team.

At the league level, I want to thank John Grisdale, Trevor Alto and Brent Mutis for the hard work they put in to make this league as special as it is, and while I won't name them all individually, the 15 other play-by-play men across the league are all phenomenal broadcasters and great people. Thanks for letting me be a part of the fraternity.

And last but not least, I need to mention the fans, volunteers and listeners/viewers/readers in Surrey. There are some incredible people who have incredible passion for this team, whether it be the season ticket holders who come and cheer at every game or the volunteers that help make gamenights run smoothly or the people who can't be there in person but tune-in to the broadcasts and read the post-game reports. All of you make this hockey team what it is, and I feel incredibly honoured to have been allowed into your community this past year.

I look forward to following the 2013-2014 edition of the Eagles along with all of you.


Brendan Batchelor

Friday, July 19, 2013

Eagles Add Three

For immediate release: July 19, 2013
Left to right: Austin Edwards, Bo Didur, Chris Seto

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that defenseman Austin Edwards ('95), forward Chris Seto ('97) and goaltender Bo Didur ('97) have committed to play for the team, beginning in the 2013-2014 season.

"We're very excited that these three players have decided to play for us next season," said Eagles President, Head Coach and GM Peter Schaefer. "Austin is a really good puck moving defenseman while Chris is a skilled forward that had a great camp for us last year. Bo was very well liked by our previous goalie Michael Santaguida and had a great record last year as well. They're all great additions."

Edwards, an Abbotsford native, appeared in eight regular season games and nine playoff games with the Abbotsford Pilots of the PIJHL in the 2012-2013 season. The 18-year-old had seven points in the regular season and six points in the post-season. Edwards has appeared in two BCHL games as well, suiting up for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the 2011-2012 season.

"I'm really excited," said Edwards. "I've heard that the coaching staff is great. The Eagles have been a great team in the past, and with them coming off a berth in the RBC Cup, it'll be exciting to go there and play with guys who experienced that run."

Seto spent the 2012-2013 season with the Cloverdale Colts Midget AAA team. The 16-year-old was a third round selection of the Kelowna Rockets in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. Seto, who is a Surrey native, also practiced with the Eagles throughout last season.

"It will be a great experience to play in the BCHL," said Seto. "I wanted to play for the Eagles because I'm from Surrey, and practicing with the team last year really helped me a lot with my development. I'm really looking forward to it."

Didur, who hails from West Vancouver, played for the Vancouver Northwest Giants in the BC Major Midget League last year. The 16-year-old net minder was part of the Giants squad that went to the Pacific Regional Finals before falling to the eventual Telus Cup Champion Red Deer Optimist Chiefs.

"I'm really honoured to be given an opportunity to play for such a respected team in the BCHL," said Didur. "What the team accomplished last year was pretty amazing, and we hope to do what they did last year again this coming season."

The Eagles would like to welcome Didur, Seto and Edwards to the organization.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eagles Acquire Pilton from Victoria

For immediate release: July 17, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club announced on Wednesday that the team has acquired defenseman Kade Pilton ('94) and future considerations from the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for forward Stefan Burzan ('94).

"We hope that getting a big body on the back end that can skate and has some experience will help us this coming season," said Eagles President, Head Coach and GM Peter Schaefer of Pilton. "We hope he can be a nice compliment to some of our smaller puck moving defensemen."

Pilton split the 2012-2013 season with the Regina Pats of the WHL and the Grizzlies. The Parksville native put up three points in 27 games in Regina before appearing in 12 regular season games with Victoria, tallying five points. Pilton had two points in six playoff games with the Grizzlies who lost to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the Island Division Final.

Burzan, who hails from Surrey, played 51 regular season games for the Eagles last year, scoring six goals and 10 assists. In the post-season, he appeared in 19 games during Surrey's run to the RBC Cup Semi-Final, posting two points. Burzan has also spent time in the WHL as he appeared in two games for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2011-2012 season.

The Eagles would like to welcome Kade to the organization while wishing Stefan all the best in his future endeavours.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Eagles Trade For Pair of Twins

For immediate release: July 8, 2013

Left to right: Jonah Renouf, Nathan Renouf,
Patrick Chore, Eric Chore
Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club announced on Monday that the team has acquired forwards Jonah Renouf ('94), Nathan Renouf ('94), Patrick Chore ('93) and Eric Chore ('93) from the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in exchange for goaltender Glenn Ferguson ('94), the playing rights to Devon Toews ('94), Michael Santaguida ('93) and Michael Stenerson ('93) and future considerations.

"We've lost some forwards from last year's team to NCAA schools, so we're excited to be acquiring some great skill guys who have put up great numbers in Ontario," said Eagles President, General Manager and Head Coach Peter Schaefer. "We hope they'll help out our power play as well, and we're very excited to have these young men join our organization."

The Renouf brothers hail from Mississauga, Ontario. Jonah finished second in OJHL scoring in the 2012-2013 season with 29 goals and 65 assists in 53 games while Nathan was sixth in league scoring, tallying 21 goals and 56 assists in 54 games. In the playoffs, the Renoufs combined for 11 points in six games as the Blades were eliminated by the North York Rangers in the first round. Both brothers have committed to attend Quinnipiac University for the 2014-2015 season.

The Chores are Kelowna natives who will return to their home province to play for the Eagles. Both brothers spent time with the North Okanagan Knights of the KIJHL for parts of two seasons from 2010-2012 and both had stints in the BCHL before heading to Ontario to start the 2012-2013 season. Patrick played 37 games for the Prince George Spruce Kings in 2011-2012 while Eric has suited up in 10 BCHL games split between the Spruce Kings and the Vernon Vipers.

Ferguson heads to Ontario after appearing in nine games for the Birds in the 2012-2013 season, posting a record of 4-5-0. While their playing rights have been transferred, Stenerson, Toews and Santaguida have all completed their junior careers and will be starting at NCAA schools in the fall.

The Eagles would like to welcome Jonah, Nathan, Patrick and Eric to the organization while wishing Glenn the best of luck in his future endeavours.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Adam Tambellini Interview: July 3, 2013

I caught up with former Eagles forward and New York Rangers draft pick Adam Tambellini to talk about the NHL Entry Draft this past Sunday where he was selected 65th overall by the Blueshirts.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tambellini Goes to the Rangers

For immediate release: June 30, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that forward Adam Tambellini has been selected in the third round of today's NHL Entry Draft in Newark, New Jersey by the New York Rangers with the 65th overall pick.

"It's very exciting as an organization when you have a player drafted," said Eagles President, General Manager and Head Coach Peter Schaefer. "Adam had a great year personally and a great year for us as a team. We're all incredibly excited for him to be going to the Big Apple. To play in New York City at Madison Square Garden will be really special for him, and I'm sure he's going to have a great career with the Rangers."

Tambellini joined the Eagles at the BCHL trade deadline this past January and was a key part of Surrey's run to the Fred Page Cup, Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup Semi-Final. In his 16 regular season games in Surrey, Tambellini tallied an impressive 14 goals and 12 assists. He continued his strong play throughout Surrey's post-season run, putting up 28 points in 27 games. To cap off his playoff performance, Tambellini was named the Top Forward at the RBC Cup in Summerside, PEI last month. The 18-year-old is set to attend the University of North Dakota in the fall.

The Eagles would like to congratulate Tambellini on this impressive accomplishment.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Eagles Partner With Semiahmoo Minor Hockey

For immediate release: June 27, 2013

Ian Maguire of SMHA and Peter Schaefer
Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that the team is joining together in a partnership with the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association.

The agreement will feature many benefits for both the Birds and SMHA. Eagles players will mentor minor hockey teams during the upcoming season and participate in their practices while Peter Schaefer and the Eagles' coaching staff will mentor and host clinics.

"We're excited as an organization to be partnering with Semiahmoo Minor Hockey and becoming more involved in the community," said Eagles President, General Manager and Head Coach Peter Schaefer. "With 1,000 members in the minor hockey association, our players and staff are looking forward to working with the SMHA to help impact the lives of these young hockey players in a positive way."

Off the ice, the two organizations will co-host fundraising events while both sides will also have the chance to enter into joint sponsorship opportunities. In addition, the Eagles will provide all members of the minor hockey association with a 25 per cent discount on season tickets, and the SMHA will receive 25 per cent of the revenue from every season ticket sold to one of its members.

"Semiahmoo Minor Hockey is delighted to be partnering with the Surrey Eagles this coming season," said SMHA President Ian Maguire. "This is a natural partnership within our community and provides an ideal avenue for our budding hockey stars to interact and learn from the best hockey talent in our community. We look forward to working closely with Peter Schaefer and the entire Surrey Eagles organization."