Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pierog Pots Winner; Birds Beat Dogs 3-2

Nic Pierog lifted the Surrey Eagles to a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Coastal Conference Final on Saturday night, scoring the winning goal 1:18 into overtime to give the Birds a 2-0 series lead on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Michael Santaguida made 31 saves in the Surrey net for the victory.

The first period was very similar to the opening game of the series. Neither team scored, although both sides had good opportunities. Chase Paylor was stopped by Santaguida early in the frame to keep the Bulldogs off the board, and Surrey had a great chance when Brady Shaw deflected a point shot just wide of Jay Deo's goal. The Dogs finished ahead on the shot clock 10-6 through one period, but it was the Eagles who had the better quality chances in the first.

Alberni Valley found the net for the first time in the series in the middle frame when Evan Tironese beat Santaguida with a hard shot that hit the under side of the crossbar before ending up in the goal. Surrey equalized on a power play just after the midway mark of the period as Adam Tambellini hammered a one-timer past Deo from the right circle to tie the game. The Bulldogs retook the lead before the second intermission when Tironese scored shorthanded, forcing a turnover in the Surrey zone before wiring a wrist shot into the top right corner.

The Eagles came out hard in the third looking to even the score, and Brady Shaw provided the necessary offence when he fired the puck past Deo after making a couple of nifty moves around Alberni Valley defenders. The teams traded chances in the latter half of the stanza, but neither side was able to get the go-ahead goal, and the game would need overtime. Pierog sent the Eagles home happy when he tipped Craig Wyszomirski's wrist shot from the point as the puck changed direction and snuck past Deo.

With the win, the Birds improve to 2-0 in overtime games in the 2013 playoffs. Surrey was 1-for-3 on the man advantage while the Bulldogs were 0-for-2. The Eagles finished ahead on the shot clock 39-33.

The best-of-seven series now shifts to Port Alberni for Game 3 on Monday night and Game 4 on Tuesday. Game 5, if necessary, will be back at the South Surrey Arena on Thursday, April 4th. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Brady Shaw - Surrey
2. Jay Deo - Alberni Valley
3. Demico Hannoun - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Brady Shaw - Surrey
2. Nic Pierog - Surrey
3. Jay Deo - Alberni Valley



Pre-Game Report: Game 2 - Eagles vs. Bulldogs

The Surrey Eagles will host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in Game 2 of the Coastal Conference Final on Saturday evening at the South Surrey Arena. The Birds took a 1-0 series win with a 1-0 win on Friday night.

Michael Santaguida was a key factor in Surrey's Game 1 win. The 20-year-old made 29 saves for his third shutout of the playoffs. Interestingly enough, all three of Santaguida's shutouts have come in the opening game of Surrey's three series. While the Eagles did pick up the win thanks to Demico Hannoun's late goal in the third, the Surrey power play went 0-for-5 and will be looking to improve on that effort in Game 2. Hannoun's goal was his third of the playoffs.

The Bulldogs were also unable to score on the power play as they went 0-for-4. Friday's game was the first time that Alberni Valley has been shutout in the playoffs to this point. Jay Deo was very strong in net, stopping 32 of 33 shots that the Eagles threw at him. The Bulldogs are dealing with a number of injuries at the moment as Kurt Gosselin, Nicholas Kerr and Hunter Stewart were all scratched on Friday. Matthew Hansen didn't play either as he was serving the first game of a two game suspension.

If you're coming to the game, make sure to bring your radio and listen to the play-by-play in the building on 88.7FM.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: Be there at 7:00pm

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast or on 88.7FM in the arena

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Hannoun Scores Lone Goal in 1-0 Win

Demico Hannoun scored the winning goal with 1:21 remaining in the third period as the Surrey Eagles snuck past the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 1-0 in Game 1 of the Coastal Conference Final. Michael Santaguida picked up his third shutout of the playoffs, making 29 saves in the victory.

The two teams traded chances in the first, but Santaguida and Jay Deo stood strong between the pipes at either end of the ice. Surrey’s best opportunity of the period came when Drew Best found Joel Gaudet in front of the goal with a pass from the left wing, but Gaudet’s shot hit the side of the net. Teal Burns nearly scored on Santaguida with a wraparound attempt, but the Eagle net minder got across to keep the puck out with his right pad.

The story of the second period was similar to that of the opening frame. Santaguida made 15 saves on 15 shots, and Deo stopped all 11 shots he faced. Both Trevor Cameron and Brett Mulcahy had good opportunities to open the scoring for Surrey while Manny Gialedakis and Mitch Crisanti came close to beating Santaguida at the other end.

The game looked destined for overtime as Deo and Santaguida kept up their phenomenal play in the third, but Hannoun finally broke the deadlock when he was sprung in on a breakaway and beat Deo cleanly with a hard wrist shot into the top right corner of the net. The Bulldogs pulled Deo in the late stages but couldn’t find an equalizer, despite some sustained pressure in the Surrey end.

Neither team scored with the man advantage as Surrey was 0-for-5 on the power play while Alberni Valley was 0-for-4. The Eagles out shot the Bulldogs 33-29.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series goes on Saturday night at the South Surrey Arena. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
3. Jay Deo - Alberni Valley

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Jay Deo - Alberni Valley
3. Demico Hannoun - Surrey



Friday, March 29, 2013

Pre-Game Report: Game 1 - Eagles vs. Bulldogs

The BCHL's Coastal Conference Final will begin on Friday night at the South Surrey Arena as the Surrey Eagles host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. The two teams played each other twice in the regular season. The Dogs won 5-4 at the SSA on September 23rd, and the two teams played to a 4-4 tie in Port Alberni on February 23rd.

The Birds enter the third series of their post-season run after getting three days off, following a second round sweep of the Chilliwack Chiefs. Michael Stenerson was a big key for the Eagles in the series win over Chilliwack, scoring the winning goals in both Game 2 and Game 3. The Surrey penalty kill has been very good in the post-season, preventing the Chiefs from scoring on the power play throughout the second round. Michael Santaguida has been phenomenal as well. The Ontario native has the best save percentage in the BCHL playoffs.

Alberni Valley is coming off a Game 5 overtime win over the Victoria Grizzlies on Wednesday night that allowed them to advance. Affiliate player and Surrey native Mak Barden had the winning goal. The Dogs also needed five games to defeat the Nanaimo Clippers in the first round, meaning that they've played 10 games in the last 14 days. Evan Tironese has led the offense for the Bulldogs in the post-season. The 17-year-old has two goals and eight assists.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: Be there at 7:00pm

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast or on 88.7FM in the arena

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Get Conference Final Tickets Now!

For immediate release: March 28, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles will begin the Coastal Conference Final on Friday, March 29th with Game 1 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at the South Surrey Arena, and tickets for the series are available now! The Birds defeated the Langley Rivermen in the first round and the Chilliwack Chiefs in the Mainland Division Final.

The Coastal Conference Final is a best-of-seven series with the winners of the Mainland and Island Divisions facing each other for the right to advance to the Fred Page Cup Final. The Eagles will host Game 1, Game 2, Game 5 if necessary and Game 7 if necessary. Conference Final tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for students and seniors and $10 for children. Fans can purchase tickets to all four home games. If there is no Game 5 or Game 7, tickets will be re-assigned to the next round or reimbursed. To purchase tickets, call the Eagles office at 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Coastal Conference Final Schedule:
Game 1 Friday, March 29 (@ Surrey)
Game 2 Saturday, March 30 (@ Surrey)
Game 3 Monday, April 1 (@ Alberni Valley)
Game 4 Tuesday, April 2 (@ Alberni Valley)
Game 5 Thursday, April 4 (@ Surrey)*
Game 6 Friday, April 5 (@ Alberni Valley)*
Game 7 Sunday, April 7 (@ Surrey)*
*If necessary

Eagles vs. Bulldogs: By the Numbers Part 2

Here's the second part of my statistical preview of the Coastal Conference Final, looking at some of the numbers that the Surrey Eagles and Alberni Valley Bulldogs have put up to this point in the post-season.

Playoff Record
Surrey – 6-1
Alberni Valley – 6-4

1st Round Breakdown
Surrey defeated Langley 3-1
Alberni Valley defeated Nanaimo 3-2

2nd round Breakdown
Surrey defeated Chilliwack 3-0
Alberni Valley defeated Victoria 3-2

Home/Road Record
Surrey - Home: 3-1; Road: 3-0
Alberni Valley - Home: 4-0; Road: 2-4

Goals
Surrey outscored Langley 14-6
Alberni Valley outscored Nanaimo 14-11

Surrey outscored Chilliwack 12-6
Alberni Valley and Victoria tied in scoring at 12-12

Even Strength Goals
Surrey outscored Langley 9-4
Alberni Valley outscored Nanaimo 9-8

Surrey outscored Chilliwack 11-4
Alberni Valley outscored Victoria 8-6

Power Play
Surrey: 6/38 (15.79%)
Alberni Valley: 8/35 (22.86%)

Penalty Kill
Surrey: 2/21 (90.48%)
Alberni Valley: 8/45 (82.22%)

Surrey Goalies
Michael Santaguida: 6-1, 1.71 GAA, .953%, 7GP

Alberni Valley Goalies
Jay Deo: 6-4, 2.25 GAA, .938%, 10GP

Surrey Top Scorers
Adam Tambellini (7-4-11) 7GP
Brady Shaw (3-6-9) 7GP
Michael Stenerson (3-6-9) 7GP
Trevor Cameron (5-1-6) 7GP
Devon Toews (0-6-6) 7GP

Alberni Valley Top Scorers
Evan Tironese (2-8-10) 10GP
Matthew Hansen (5-3-8) 10GP
Manny Gialedakis (3-5-8) 10GP
Teal Burns (2-5-7) 10GP
Chase Van Allen (1-6-7) 10GP

Eagles vs. Bulldogs: By the Numbers Part 1

With an OT win on Wednesday evening in Game 5, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs eliminated the Victoria Grizzlies to advance to the Coastal Conference Final against the Surrey Eagles. Because of the new divisional alignment and schedule changes this season, the Birds and Dogs only faced each other twice. Here's the full breakdown from the season series between the two teams. Click here for Part 2.

Record in Season Series
Surrey - 0-1-1-0
Alberni Valley - 1-0-1-0

Game-by-Game Breakdown
September 23, 2012 at Surrey; Alberni Valley won 5-4
February 23, 2013 at Alberni Valley; 4-4 tie

Home/Road Record
Surrey - Home: 0-1-0-0; Road: 0-0-1-0
Alberni Valley - Home: 0-0-1-0; Road: 1-0-0-0

Goals
Alberni Valley outscored Surrey 9-8

Even Strength Goals
Surrey outscored Alberni Valley 7-4

Power Play
Surrey: 1/9 (11.11%)
Alberni Valley: 4/10 (40.00%)

Penalty Kill
Surrey: 4/10 (60.00%)
Alberni Valley: 1/9 (88.89%)

Surrey Goalies
Michael Santaguida: 0-0-1, 3.50 GAA, .923%, 1GP
Edward Dyson: 0-1-0, 5.05 GAA, .839%, 1GP

Alberni Valley Goalies
Jay Deo: 0-0-1, 3.43 GAA, .909%, 1GP
Brad Rebagliati: 1-0-0, 4.00 GAA, .905%, 1GP

Surrey Top Scorers
Brady Shaw (2-2-4) 1GP
Devon Toews (1-2-3) 2GP
Demico Hannoun (1-1-2) 1GP
Brandon Morley (0-2-2) 1 GP *No longer with team
Adam Tambellini (1-0-1) 1GP
Brett Mulcahy (1-0-1) 2GP
Stefan Burzan (1-0-1) 2GP

Alberni Valley Top Scorers
Kurt Gosselin (1-4-5) 2GP
Evan Tironese (3-1-4) 2GP
Teal Burns (1-1-2) 1GP
Evan Anderson (1-1-2) 1GP *No longer with team
Chase Van Allen (0-2-2) 2GP
Ryan Lough (0-2-2) 2GP

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Matt Erhart Show: March 27, 2013

On this week's edition of the Matt Erhart Show, the Head Coach and GM talked about the series sweep of the Chilliwack Chiefs, the performances from some of the key players in the series and the upcoming Coastal Conference Final against either the Alberni Valley Bulldogs or Victoria Grizzlies.
 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Batch's Breakdown: Round 2 vs. Chilliwack

After defeating the Langley Rivermen in four games in the opening round, the Birds took on the Chilliwack Chiefs in the Mainland Division Final and completed the sweep on Monday night to advance to the Coastal Conference Final for the third time in the last three years.

Friday, March 22nd - Game 1

The Eagles pounced on a road-weary Chiefs team early in the first. Brady Shaw scored 46 seconds into the game, and Surrey fired three more past Mitch Gillam before the end of the period -- including a pair from Demico Hannoun. Chilliwack bounced back with a better effort in the second and third, but the Eagles put it in cruise control and closed out the 4-0 win. Michael Santaguida made 35 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs.

Saturday, March 23rd - Game 2

The second game in the series was completely different from the first. Game 2 was a roller coaster ride if I ever saw one with lead changes aplenty and hard battling throughout. In the end, the Birds prevailed 5-4 thanks in large part to an incredible performance from Trevor Cameron who picked up the hat-trick. Ryan Donohoe had a strong game for the Chiefs, scoring twice including shorthanded marker than got Chilliwack on the board after being unable to solve Santaguida for over four periods in the series.

Monday, March 25th - Game 3

The third and final game of the series was the best pure hockey game of the three. After the first two games, which were fairly chippy, both teams settled down and played a good, honest, hard fought game. Adam Tambellini gave Surrey a 1-0 lead in the first before the Chiefs got a pair of goals from Austin Plevy and Spencer Graboski to take the lead. Brett Mulcahy tied the game late in the second, and neither team scored in the third, sending the game to overtime where Michael Stenerson won it with his third of the playoffs.

Positives from the Series

The most important positive from the series was that the Eagles got it done in three games. When you look at the possibility of a long playoff run, a team's ability to finish their opposition when they have them on the ropes can really make a difference down the stretch. The series win really was a full team effort. Every single player on the Eagles contributed in some way to the victory, and every player on the roster can be proud of the fact that they battled hard and didn't give the Chiefs an inch. 

In particular, I want to highlight the play of Stenerson. He had five points in the series and both of his goals were game winners. Simply put, Stenerson showed up when the Eagles needed him the most and provided a clutch performance in Game 3, netting the OT winner. Cameron was also a critical factor in the sweep. If not for his hat-trick in Game 2, helping the Birds to a 2-0 lead in the series, we might be talking about a Game 4 tonight.

I can't go on without mentioning Santaguida's play between the pipes as well. He didn't have to make many spectacular saves in this series, but that's because he was so strong positionally. It seemed like nearly every Chiefs shot ended up right in his chest. He also did a very good job of dealing with the traffic that Chilliwack sent his way.

I'll also tip my cap to the Eagles' penalty killers. The Chiefs entered the series with the best power play in the post-season and went 0-for-9 on the man advantage in the series. Enough said.

Negatives from the Series

To highlight any negatives from this series would be nitpicking, but I guess that's my job. Most notably, the Surrey power play went 1-for-18 in the three games. That's only 5.56%. Granted, they were facing the BCHL's top penalty kill in the regular season, but I still think the Birds could stand to improve a bit on the man advantage.

Once again, injuries have to be mentioned. Tambellini left Game 3 in the third period but was able to make it back out onto the ice for the post-game celebration. It's probably still too early to say, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's back on the ice at the SSA for Game 1 on Friday.

Eagles Goal of the Series 

Michael Stenerson's OT winner in Game 3. Watch it here.

Eagles Save of the Series 

Michael Santaguida's Stop on Kiefer McNaughton in Game 2. Watch it here. 

3 Stars of the Series 
1. Michael Stenerson
2. Trevor Cameron
3. Michael Santaguida

Stenerson Scores in OT; Eagles Move On

Michael Stenerson scored the winning goal 2:41 into overtime as the Surrey Eagles defeated the Chilliwack Chiefs 3-2 on Monday evening at Prospera Centre to advance to the Coastal Conference Final. The win capped a 3-0 series sweep in the best-of-five series for the Birds who will now face either the Alberni Valley Bulldogs or the Victoria Grizzlies.

Chilliwack forward Tanner Cochrane was knocked out of the game midway through the first when he was hit heavily into the sideboards in the Surrey zone, appearing to injure his right ankle. He did not return to the action. Adam Tambellini got the Eagles on the board with just under five minutes remaining in the opening frame when he fired a hard wrister past Mitch Gillam from the slot for his seventh of the playoffs. The Chiefs responded quickly though, tying the game before the end of the period after Austin Plevy knocked a centring pass from Luke Esposito out of the air and past Michael Santaguida.

The Chiefs took the lead in the middle frame when Spencer Graboski went hard to the net and the puck bounced off his right foot and across the goal line. The officials didn't initially signal a goal, but after a lengthy discussion, they decided that it would count. The Eagles pressured for an equalizer, and Stenerson had a golden opportunity where he hammered a wrist shot off the right post from the high slot. Surrey did eventually tie the game at 17:43 after Stenerson won an attacking zone face-off back to Brett Mulcahy who let loose a vicious one-timer that beat Gillam cleanly.

The two teams traded chances in the third, but once again it was the Eagles with the better of the offensive opportunities. Drew Best found the iron, and Kevan Kilistoff had a great chance to give Surrey a lead in the final minute when he received a pass at the top of the crease with Gillam down and out, but the Langley native just couldn't will the puck into the net. The Eagles lost Adam Tambellini in the late stages of the third after he fell awkwardly into the sideboards and didn't come back to the action. The game remained tied after 60 minutes, and for the first time in the playoffs, the Birds went to overtime.

Stenerson had a chance to end the game moments before he scored the winner when he was sprung in on a partial breakaway but shot over the net. On Surrey's next rush up the ice, Brady Shaw danced through the Chilliwack defence and deked to the backhand, just missing the right post. However, the play wasn't done there as Demico Hannoun got the puck in the right corner and fed out front to Stenerson who ended the game with a shot that snuck past Gillam into the top corner.

The Eagles will begin the best-of-seven Coastal Conference Final on Friday night, and Game 2 will go on Saturday. Both games will be played at the South Surrey Arena. For tickets, call the Eagles office beginning at noon on Tuesday at 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Michael Stenerson - Surrey
2. Austin Plevy - Chilliwack
3. Spencer Graboski - Chilliwack

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Stenerson - Surrey
2. Spencer Graboski - Chilliwack
3. Adam Tambellini - Surrey

Highlights courtesy of the Chilliwack Chiefs.



Monday, March 25, 2013

Pre-Game Report: Game 3 - Eagles at Chiefs

The Surrey Eagles have a chance to advance to the Coastal Conference Final on Monday evening as they visit the Chilliwack Chiefs in Game 3 of the best-of-five series between the two teams. The Birds are ahead 2-0 in the series and can complete a sweep of their division rivals with a win.

After shutting the Chiefs out in Game 1, the Eagles had to battle hard to edge Chilliwack 5-4 in Game 2 on Saturday. Trevor Cameron put in a phenomenal offensive effort, tallying a hat-trick en route to the win. Heading into Monday's game at Prospera Centre, the Birds are 2-0 on the road in the playoffs and took two of four meetings in Chilliwack in the regular season, including a 41 save shutout for Michael Santaguida back on December 29th. The Surrey power play was able to beat Mitch Gillam in Game 2, but the Eagles also gave up a shorthanded marker.

The Chiefs face a must win scenario for the second time in the playoffs. Chilliwack defeated Prince George in the deciding Game 5 in the first round. Despite the loss on Saturday, the Chiefs had a much improved effort and were inches away from tying the game in the third period when Luke Esposito hit the cross-bar from close range. Chilliwack's top guns have yet to find their stride in this series. The top line of Esposito, Austin Plevy and Josh Hansen has combined for only two points while Phil Zielonka, who scored seven goals in the opening round, hasn't scored in the series.

Where: Prospera Centre

When: 7:00pm

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Eagles Top Chiefs 5-4

Trevor Cameron scored a hat-trick while Nic Pierog and Michael Stenerson also found the back of the net as the Surrey Eagles battled to a 5-4 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs in Game 2 of the Mainland Division Final on Saturday night at the South Surrey Arena. With the win, the Birds now have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Cameron had a chance to open the scoring just a few minutes into the first when he was sprung in on a breakaway, but the Mission native lost the handle at the last minute and never got a shot away. Cameron wouldn't be denied though as he tallied his first of the game a few moments later after Adam Tambellini found him in the slot with a nice pass off the half-boards, and Cameron made a smooth deke around Mitch Gillam to give Surrey the lead.

The Chiefs equalized in the second when Ryan Donohoe was able to score shorthanded, but Surrey retook the lead later in the period on the power play after Cameron knocked home the rebound of a Devon Toews point shot at the side of the net for his second of the evening. Chilliwack rallied in the late stages of the stanza to tie the game and eventually take the lead. First, Austin Plevy fired a shot past Michael Santaguida to even the score, and then Donohoe picked up his second goal of the game with less than two minutes left in the period to out the Chiefs ahead after 40 minutes.

The third period was full of frantic action as the two teams battled hard for the victory. Cameron netted his third of the game with a great individual effort that saw him out-work three Chiefs players to bring the puck up the ice before beating Gillam with a shot from the slot. Pierog gave the Birds a 4-3 lead when he shovelled the puck into the net after a goal-mouth scramble, and Stenerson added what would prove to be the game winner, completing a nice two-on-one passing play with Tambellini. The Chiefs pulled the goalie in the late stages and found a goal as Spencer Graboski beat Santaguida, but Chilliwack couldn't tie the game, and the Eagles took a commanding 2-0 series lead.

The Birds went 1-for-6 on the power play while Chilliwack was 0-for-6. For the second straight game, the Chiefs finished ahead on the shot clock but behind on the scoreboard as they out shot Surrey 39-29. The series now shifts to Chilliwack for a critical Game 3 on Monday night. The Eagles will have a chance to clinch a series win and advance to the Coastal Conference Final.

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Trevor Cameron - Surrey
2. Ryan Donohoe - Chilliwack
3. Devon Toews - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Trevor Cameron - Surrey
2. Ryan Donohoe - Chilliwack
3. Nic Pierog - Surrey

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pre-Game Report: Game 2 - Eagles vs. Chiefs

The Surrey Eagles will have an opportunity to take a commanding 2-0 series lead on Saturday evening when they host the Chilliwack Chiefs in Game 2 of the best-of-five Mainland Division Final series. The Birds took Game 1 by a score of 4-0 on Friday night.

Surrey got out to an amazing start in the opening game, scoring all four of their goals in the first period. Demico Hannoun tallied his first two goals of the post-season while Michael Santaguida picked up the shutout with 35 saves. Despite the victory, Surrey's power play struggled at times, going 0-for-9 against the league's top penalty kill. Converting on the man advantage could be key for the Birds on Saturday night. Defensively, the Eagles did a good job of limiting Chilliwack's scoring chances and preventing the Chiefs' top guns from finding their stride.

The Chiefs played poorly in the first period of Game 1, but bounced back with a more complete effort in the final 40 minutes of the game. Josh Hansen and Phil Zielonka both hit goal posts in the attacking zone, and the Chilliwack club limited the Eagles' chances at the other end of the ice. The Chiefs' comeback attempt was ultimately thwarted by a lack of discipline as the visitors gave Surrey eight power plays in the last two periods.

If you're attending the game, bring your radio and listen to TEAM1040's broadcast of the game in the arena.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: Be there at 7:00pm

How to listen: TEAM 1040 or on 88.7FM in the arena

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Birds Outgun Chiefs in Game 1

Demico Hannoun scored twice and Michael Santaguida made 35 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs as the Surrey Eagles blanked the Chilliwack Chiefs 4-0 on Friday night at the South Surrey Arena to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Mainland Division Final.

The Birds scored all of their goals in the opening frame. The first marker came just 46 seconds into the game when Michael Stenerson made a nice pass to Brady Shaw on an odd-man rush, and Shaw deked around Chilliwack backstop Mitch Gillam to pick up his third of the post-season. Hannoun extended the lead moments later with a hard wrist shot from the right circle that went off the underside of the cross-bar and into the net. Trevor Cameron put his name on the score sheet in the second half of the period when he beat Gillam with a shot through a screen off the rush, and Hannoun tallied his second of the game in the last minute of the first, completing a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that also involved Shaw and Adam Tambellini.

Chilliwack put the Eagles under some pressure in the early stages of the second, and Santaguida had to make a couple of big saves -- most notably stopping Ryan Donohoe from close range. Josh Hansen had the Chiefs' best scoring chance of the stanza when he fired a shot off the post from the right wing. Surrey captain Brett Mulcahy had an opportunity to extend the Eagle lead late in the period when he was sprung in on a breakaway, but Gillam stretched out his right pad to keep the puck out.

The Chiefs had a handful of chances to get on the board in the third, but Santaguida was strong and steady between the pipes. Chilliwack's best opportunity to find a goal came when Phil Zielonka got the puck in the slot with Santaguida down and out, but the Chiefs forward rung the puck off the iron. The visitors got into some penalty trouble in the third, giving Surrey four power plays in the final frame, and while the Birds didn't score on the man advantage, they were able to run the clock down and skate away with the win.

The Eagles had nine power plays on the evening but were unable to convert while Chilliwack went 0-for-2. The Chiefs out shot Surrey 35-24 in a losing cause. The two teams will get right back at it with Game 2 on Saturday night at the South Surrey Arena. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
3. Brady Shaw - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
2. Brady Shaw - Surrey
3. Michael Santaguida - Surrey



Friday, March 22, 2013

Pre-Game Report: Game 1 - Eagles vs. Chiefs

The Surrey Eagles will begin the Mainland Division Final on Friday night when they renew their rivalry with the Chilliwack Chiefs in Game 1 of the best-of-five series. The Birds advanced to the second round after beating the Langley Rivermen in four games while the Chiefs needed five games to eliminate the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Eagles enter the second round coming off back-to-back six goal games in which Adam Tambellini scored five times. Defensively, the Surrey hockey club only allowed six goals in the first round, and Michael Santaguida had a good series in goal including a 2-0 shutout in Game 1. Surrey's special teams were a definite positive as well as the Eagles were 25 per cent on the power play and 80 per cent on the penalty kill in the four games against the Rivermen.

Chilliwack was forced to play five games in six days after their series with Prince George went the distance. The Chiefs advanced thanks to a 5-2 win on Wednesday night at home, but they only had one day off before the beginning of the Mainland Division Final. Phil Zielonka has been an offensive force for Chilliwack, tallying a league-best seven goals in the opening round including a pair in an impressive 10-1 win in Game 2.

If you're attending the game, bring your radio and listen to the play-by-play on 88.7FM.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: Be there at 7:00pm

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast or on 88.7FM in the arena

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Matt Erhart Show: March 21, 2013

On this week's episode of the Matt Erhart Show, the GM and Head Coach of the Eagles looks back on a first round series win over the Langley Rivermen and previews the upcoming Mainland Division Final against the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Eagles vs. Chiefs: By the Numbers Part 2

Here's the second part of my statistical breakdown ahead of Round 2, looking at how the Eagles and Chiefs did in the first round.

1st Round Record
Surrey – 3-1
Chilliwack – 3-2

Game-by-Game Breakdown
March 15, 2013 at Surrey; Surrey won 2-0 over Langley
March 15, 2013 at Chilliwack; Prince George won 3-1 over Chilliwack

March 16, 2013 at Surrey; Langley won 1-0 over Surrey
March 16, 2013 at Chilliwack; Chilliwack won 10-1 over Prince George

March 18, 2013 at Langley; Surrey won 6-2 over Langley
March 18, 2013 at Prince George; Chilliwack won 5-3 over Prince George

March 19, 2013 at Langley; Surrey won 6-3 over Langley
March 19, 2013 at Prince George; Prince George won 5-2 over Chilliwack

March 20, 2013 at Chilliwack; Chilliwack won 5-2 over Prince George

Home/Road Record
Surrey - Home: 1-1; Road: 2-0
Chilliwack - Home: 2-1; Road: 1-1

Goals
Surrey outscored Langley 14-6
Chilliwack outscored Prince George 23-14

Even Strength Goals
Surrey outscored Langley 9-4
Chilliwack outscore Prince George 16-12

Power Play
Surrey: 5/20 (25.00%)
Chilliwack: 7/23 (30.43%)

Penalty Kill
Surrey: 2/10 (80.00%)
Chilliwack: 2/20 (90.00%)

Surrey Goalies
Michael Santaguida: 3-1-0, 1.51 GAA, .955%, 4GP

Chilliwack Goalies
Mitch Gillam: 3-2-0, 2.31 GAA, .914%, 5GP
Josh Halpenny: 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000%, 1GP

Surrey Top Scorers
Adam Tambellini (6-1-7) 4GP
Brady Shaw (2-2-4) 4GP
Michael Stenerson (1-2-3) 4GP
Devon Toews (0-3-3) 4GP
Trevor Cameron (1-1-2) 4GP
Kevan Kilistoff (1-1-2) 4GP
Craig Wyszomirski (1-1-2) 4GP
Drew Best (0-2-2) 4GP
Nic Pierog (2-0-2) 4GP
Demico Hannoun (0-1-1) 3GP

Chilliwack Top Scorers
Phil Zielonka (7-2-9) 5GP
Spencer Graboski (0-8-8) 5GP
Mathieu Tibbet (3-4-7) 5GP
Austin Plevy (4-2-6) 5GP
Josh Hansen (2-3-5) 5GP
Luke Esposito (1-4-5) 5GP
David Thompson (0-4-4) 5GP
Trevor Hills (3-0-3) 5GP
Alex Perron-Fontaine (1-2-3) 5GP
Ryan Donohoe (1-1-2) 5GP

Eagles vs. Chiefs: By the Numbers Part 1

The Surrey Eagles will take on the Chilliwack Chiefs in the Mainland Division Final beginning tomorrow night at the South Surrey Arena. The Chiefs advanced to the second round after beating Prince George 5-2 in Game 5 of their opening round series on Wednesday night. Here's a look at some numbers from the season series between the Eagles and Chiefs. Click here for Part 2.

Record in Season Series
Surrey - 4-3-0-1
Chilliwack - 4-3-0-1

Game-by-Game Breakdown
September 14, 2012 at Surrey; Surrey won 3-2 in OT
September 15, 2012 at Chilliwack; Chilliwack won 4-2
September 30, 2012 at Surrey; Chilliwack won 4-3 in OT
November 16, 2012 at Surrey; Chilliwack won 2-1
December 28, 2012 at Surrey; Surrey won 5-3
December 29, 2012 at Chilliwack; Surrey won 3-0
January 25, 2013 at Chilliwack; Surrey won 6-4
February 16, 2013 at Chilliwack; Chilliwack won 4-2

Home/Road Record
Surrey - Home: 2-1-0-1; Road: 2-2-0-0
Chilliwack - Home: 2-2-0-0; Road: 2-1-0-1

Goals
Surrey outscored Chilliwack 25-23

Even Strength Goals
Surrey outscored Chilliwack 21-15

Power Play
Surrey: 4/50 (8.00%)
Chilliwack: 5/31 (16.13%)

Penalty Kill
Surrey: 5/31 (83.87%)
Chilliwack: 4/50 (92.00%)

Surrey Goalies
Michael Santaguida: 3-3-0, 2.46 GAA, .931%, 6GP
Glenn Ferguson: 1-1-0, 2.86 GAA, .908%, 2GP

Chilliwack Goalies
Mitch Gillam: 3-4-0, 2.84 GAA, .922%, 7GP
Josh Halpenny: 1-0-0, 2.70 GAA, .917%, 1GP

Surrey Top Scorers
Demico Hannoun (3-4-7) 7GP
Michael Stenerson (4-3-7) 8GP
Nic Pierog (2-4-6) 8GP
Drew Best (4-1-5) 8GP
Colton Mackie (2-3-5) 7GP
Trevor Cameron (2-3-5) 7GP
Devon Toews (1-4-5) 8GP
Craig Wyszomirski (0-5-5) 8GP
Brady Shaw (1-3-4) 5GP
Brett Mulcahy (3-1-4) 8GP

Chilliwack Top Scorers
Luke Esposito (2-8-10) 8GP
Austin Plevy (3-6-9) 8GP
Tanner Cochrane (2-4-6) 8GP
Josh Hansen (3-2-5) 6GP
Spencer Graboski (2-2-4) 8GP
Shay Laurent (0-4-4) 8GP
Phil Zielonka (2-1-3) 2GP
David Thompson (1-2-3) 8GP
Cooper Rush (1-2-3) 8GP
Ryan Donohoe (0-2-2) 5GP

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Batch's Breakdown: Round 1 vs. Langley

The Eagles opened the 2013 playoffs with a first round match-up against the Langley Rivermen. Surrey took the best-of-five series in four games and advanced to the Mainland Division Final.

Friday, March 15th - Game 1

The opening game in the series started out as a fast paced and physical affair. Surrey got the opening goal in the first period when Joel Gaudet found Kevan Kilistoff on a two-on-one, and Kilistoff scored the first Surrey goal of the playoffs to make it 1-0. The Rivermen pressured throughout the game, looking for an equalizing goal, but Michael Santaguida was very strong in net, and Adam Tambellini added a power play marker to give Surrey a 2-0 win in Game 1.

Saturday, March 16th - Game 2

The Rivermen finally scored on Santaguida 7:30 into the second game of the series when Evan Campbell tallied a power play marker. That would prove to be the only goal of the game as Langley evened the series. James Barr was absolutely spectacular in the game, making 42 saves for the shutout including a number of highlight reel stops to keep the Eagles off the board in the third period.

Monday, March 18th - Game 3

The Birds found their offensive stride as the series shifted back to Langley. Michael Stenerson opened the scoring for Surrey in the first three minutes of the game, and the Eagles got additional goals from Brady Shaw, Nic Pierog, Craig Wyszomirski and Adam Tambellini who tallied a pair in a convincing 6-2 victory, putting the Rivermen on the brink of elimination heading into Game 4.

Tuesday, March 19th - Game 4

Brady Shaw scored on the power play just 35 seconds into what would prove to be the final game in the series. The Rivermen battled hard and tied the game twice -- at 1-1 and 2-2 -- but in the end the Surrey offensive attack was too much for the Langley club. Making a comeback even harder was the fact that the Boatmen gave the Eagles nine power plays in the game, and the Birds scored on two of them. The final score was 6-3 with Surrey also getting goals from Pierog, Trevor Cameron and a hat-trick from Tambellini.

Positives from the Series

After struggling to find the back of the net in the opening two games, Surrey's offensive guns showed up and clinched the series for the Birds. Tambellini was the best player on the ice in Game 4 and now has six goals, leaving him tied for the league lead in playoff goal scoring with Chilliwack's Phil Zielonka.

The Eagles defence was strong throughout the four games, and with an injury to Tommy Stipancik in Game 2, Dan O'Keefe stepped up and played very well in an increased role on the blue line. Santaguida was his usual self in net, posting an impressive 1.51 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage in the opening round.

Special teams were a big factor in the first series for Surrey as well. The Birds' power play went 5-for-20 and is currently third in league in the post-season. The penalty kill was efficient as well, finishing the series at 80 per cent.

It was also incredibly important for the Eagles to finish the series in Game 4 and not give the Boatmen any life to try and pull off an upset in a fifth game, and despite a scrappy Langley team that kept battling back in the game, the Birds were eventually able to separate themselves on the scoreboard and wrap up the series.

Negatives from the Series

The only notable negative I can see when looking back at the series was highlighted in Game 2. The Eagles were the better team in the game, but Barr's goaltending performance allowed the Rivermen to steal a win. Not to take anything away from the spectacular display that the Langley goalie put on, but I thought the Birds made him look better than he was at times. There were many saves he made where Surrey forwards could have taken better shots, and if the Birds had been able to capitalize on even one of those opportunities, the series may not have even reached Game 4.

Fortunately for Surrey, their scorers looked potent in the final two games and were able to pop 12 goals past Barr, but a killer instinct around the goal will be essential in the next round as the Eagles will be facing either Mitch Gilliam or Kirk Thompson, both of whom are elite goaltenders in this league.

Eagles Goal of the Series

Nic Pierog's Goal/Home Run in Game 3. Watch it here.

Eagles Save of the Series

Michael Santaguida's Stop on Mario Puskarich in Game 4. Watch it here.

3 Stars of the Series
1. Adam Tambellini
2. Brady Shaw
3. Michael Santaguida

Second Round Tickets On Sale Now

For immediate release: March 20, 2013

Surrey, BC - Tickets for Surrey Eagles home games for the second round of the Fred Page Cup Playoffs are now on sale. Surrey will face either the Chilliwack Chiefs or Prince George Spruce Kings in round two after the Birds beat the Langley Rivermen 3-1 in a best-of-five series in the first round.

The Mainland Division Final is also a best-of-five with the winners of the two first round series facing each other for the right to advance to the Coastal Conference Final. The Eagles will host Game 1, Game 2, and Game 5 if necessary. Second round tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors and $9 for children. Fans can purchase tickets to all three games. If there is no Game 5, tickets will be re-assigned to the next round or reimbursed. To purchase tickets, call the Eagles office at 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Mainland Division Final Playoff Schedule:
Game 1 Friday, March 22 (@ Surrey)
Game 2 Saturday, March 23 (@ Surrey)
Game 3 Monday, March 25 (@ Chilliwack or Prince George)
Game 4 Tuesday, March 26 (@ Chilliwack or Prince George)*
Game 5 Wednesday, March 27 (@ Surrey)*
*If necessary

Tambellini's Hat-Trick Lifts Eagles Past Rivermen

Adam Tambellini netted a hat trick to lead the Surrey Eagles to a 6-3 win in Game 4 of their first round series with the Langley Rivermen on Tuesday evening at the Langley Events Centre. With the win, the Birds won the best-of-five series 3-1 and advance to the Mainland Division Final.

Surrey started the game on the power play after Viktor Dombrovskiy was late getting off the ice at the end of warm-up, and the Birds capitalized when Brady Shaw cut hard to the goal off the left wing and beat James Barr just 35 seconds into the game. Langley equalized before the period was halfway through when Evan Campbell picked up his second goal of the post-season, shoveling the puck past Michael Santaguida after a shot from the right point by Turner Popoff. The Eagles retook the lead under two minutes later as Trevor Cameron found the back of the net, scoring on a rebound after Tambellini got a nice shot away from the left face-off circle.

The Rivermen had to kill off an early Surrey power play to start the second, but after succeeding in keeping the Eagles off the scoreboard in the first two minutes of the period, Langley tied the game when Mitch McLain rippled the mesh for his first of the playoffs. The Surrey power play converted again later in the period to retake the lead as Tambellini scored his first of the evening, and Nic Pierog made it 4-2 shortly thereafter when his centring pass intended for Kevan Kilistoff bounced off Jivan Sidhu and into the Langley goal. Tambellini found the back of the net again in the late stages of the stanza with a hard wrist shot off the left wing, and the Eagles took a 5-2 lead to the dressing room after 40 minutes.

Tambellini completed the hat-trick early in the final frame when he and Cameron were sprung in on a two-on-none, and the Edmonton native kept the puck, deking to the backhand before tucking the biscuit through Barr’s legs to make it 6-2. Trevor Cope responded for the Rivermen with a goal just eight seconds later, but Langley couldn’t stage a third period comeback, and the Birds sealed the victory in the game and the series.

Langley Head Coach Bobby Henderson was thrown out of the game and given a Gross Misconduct midway through the second period after an outburst that saw him throw water bottles and milk crates onto the ice in frustration at the officiating. The Eagles had nine power plays in the game, scoring on two of them, while Langley went 0-for-2 with the man advantage. The Rivermen out shot the Eagles 34-31.

With the victory, the Eagles advance to the Mainland Division Final where they will face either the Chilliwack Chiefs or the Prince George Spruce Kings. Game 1 will be played on Friday night (March 22nd) at the South Surrey Arena. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625) and help the Eagles defend the nest.

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Adam Tambellini - Surrey
2. Evan Campbell - Langley
3. Dan O'Keefe - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Adam Tambellini - Surrey
2. Dan O'Keefe - Surrey
3. Devon Toews - Surrey

Highlights courtesy of the Langley Events Centre.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pre-Game Report: Game 4 - Eagles at Rivermen

The Surrey Eagles can move on to the Mainland Division Final with a victory over the Langley Rivermen on Tuesday night at the Langley Events Centre in Game 4 of the best-of-five series. Surrey won Game 3 by a score of 6-2.

The Birds got big offensive contributions from their top guns in Monday night's win. Adam Tambellini tallied a pair of goals in the third while Michael Stenerson finished with a goal and two assists and Brady Shaw had a goal and an assist as well. Surrey's power play units have been strong to this point in the series, scoring on over 27 per cent of their chances with the man advantage, and Michael Santaguida has been impressive between the pipes, allowing only three goals on 98 shots through the first three games.

After limiting Surrey to two goals in the first two games, the Rivermen had trouble defending the Eagles' potent attack in Game 3. With injuries to defencemen Logan Smith, Austen Bietenbeck and Mark Whiteley, Langley's blue line will count on major contributions from Viktor Dombrovskiy, Tanner Johnson and Aaron Dolby among others in order to force a deciding Game 5. Offensively, the top line of Mario Puskarich, Evan Campbell and James Robinson has combined for five points in the series while Dombrovskiy and Trevor Cope are the only other Langley players to record a point.

Where: Langley Events Centre

When: 7:15pm

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Monday, March 18, 2013

Eagles Explode For Six in Langley

After beating James Barr twice in the first two games of the series, the Surrey Eagles exploded for six in a convincing 6-2 victory over the Langley Rivermen in Game 3 of the Mainland Division Semi-Final at the Langley Events Centre on Monday night. The Birds now hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Surrey got out to a strong start when Michael Stenerson knocked home a rebound less than three minutes into the game on the Eagles’ first power play. The Birds had a number of chances to extend the lead in the first, but Barr turned aside the remaining chances. Surrey had a scare midway through the frame when Brady Shaw stayed down on the ice after colliding with Rivermen defender Aaron Dolby and going hard into the end boards. Fortunately for the Eagles, Shaw was able to skate off under his own power and returned to the game before the end of the first.

Craig Wyszomirski found the back of the net early in the second to double the Eagle lead when he wired a wrist shot past Barr from the high slot. Langley responded a few minutes after Wyszomirski’s goal when Michael Santaguida mishandled the puck in the left corner and Mario Puskarich fed in front to James Robinson who tallied his first of the post-season.

The Eagles found their offensive stride in the third. Shaw netted his first of the playoffs in the early going after a nice pass from Stenerson on the end boards. Adam Tambellini joined the scoring party as well with a pair of goals -- both wristers that beat Barr on the glove side. Nic Pierog scored Surrey’s last goal on the power play when he drove to the front of the net from behind the goal line and got two whacks at the puck before batting it out of mid-air into the net. The Rivermen got a late goal on the man advantage with only four seconds remaining as Trevor Cope shoveled the puck past Santaguida.

The Eagles out shot the Rivermen 36-27 and went 2-for-5 on the power play while Langley was 1-for-3. Surrey will have a chance to end the series on Tuesday night when the two teams go head-to-head again at the LEC. The face-off will be at 7:15pm.

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Adam Tambellini - Surrey
2. Michael Stenerson - Surrey
3. Brady Shaw - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Stenerson - Surrey
2. Adam Tambellini - Surrey
3. Brady Shaw - Surrey

Highlights courtesy of the Langley Events Centre.



Pre-Game Report: Game 3 - Eagles at Rivermen

Game 3 of the Mainland Division Semi-Final between the Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen goes on Monday night at the Langley Events Centre. The series is tied at 1-1 after the 'Men picked up a gutsy 1-0 victory in Surrey on Saturday evening.

Despite the fact they've only allowed one goal on 75 shots through the first two games of the series, the Eagles now find themselves in a best-of-three where they'll need to win at least one game away from home to advance. The Birds had a strong record at the LEC in the regular season, winning three of four games. Surrey has the only even strength goal in the series through 120 minutes of action while both teams have found the back of the net on the power play.

The Rivermen got the split they were looking for from the first two games in the series and now return home where they were very strong all season. Langley went an impressive 16-9-1-2 at the LEC this year. Monday's game will also mark the first home playoff date in Langley Rivermen history, and the home town faithful will be hoping that goaltender James Barr can duplicate his impressive shutout performance in Game 2.

Where: Langley Events Centre

When: 7:15pm

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Barr Blanks Birds in Game 2

24 hours after Michael Santaguida shut out the Langley Rivermen in Game 1 of the Mainland Division Semi-Final, Rivermen goalie James Barr returned the favour, stopping all 42 shots he faced to lead Langley to a hard fought 1-0 win in Game 2. The victory marked the first ever playoff win for the Rivermen.

The opening frame was a cagey period with both teams battling hard defensively. Santaguida and Barr were both called upon to make key stops early as the goaltending battle from Game 1 carried over into the second game of the series. After 67:30 of playoff hockey without a goal, Langley finally found the back of the net when Evan Campbell beat Santaguida from the bottom of the right circle on the power play to give the Rivermen a lead they would never relinquish.

The game opened up a bit in the middle frame as the teams traded chances, but once again the two goalies were equal to the task. The rough play picked up in the second period as well, and a parade to the penalty box ensued, although many of them were coincidental penalties and each team only had one power play in the period.

Barr was the story of the third, turning aside all 17 shots he faced – many of which were highlight reel saves. His best stop of the game and a save of the year candidate came when he committed grand larceny by stoning Michael Stenerson on a two-on-one chance that looked to be a sure goal. The Eagles thought they had tied the game later in the period when Adam Tambellini had a golden opportunity in front of the net, but Barr made a fantastic stop, pulling the puck off the goal line with his glove. Surrey pulled the goalie late in the third looking for an equalizer, but the puck stayed out of the Langley net, and the Rivermen evened the series at a game apiece.

The losing team had the majority of the shots for a second straight night as the Eagles finished ahead on the shot clock 42-38. Surrey was officially 0-for-2 on the power play although the second man advantage was only six seconds long as it came in the dying seconds of the game. The Rivermen went 1-for-2.

The teams will have a day off on Sunday before meeting on Monday evening at the Langley Events Centre for what could prove to be a pivotal Game 3. Face-off on Monday is at 7:15pm.

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. James Barr - Langley
2. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
3. Evan Campbell - Langley

My 3 Stars:
1. James Barr - Langley
2. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
3. Evan Campbell - Langley



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pre-Game Report: Game 2 - Eagles vs. Rivermen

The Surrey Eagles will host the Langley Rivermen for the second night in a row on Saturday evening at the South Surrey Arena for Game 2 of the Mainland Division Semi-Final. The Birds took the opening game 2-0 on Friday night. Michael Santaguida made 33 stops for the shutout in the Surrey net.

The Eagles will be looking to build off a solid Game 1 effort on Friday. While Santaguida was strong in goal, Surrey got a pair of important goals to secure the victory. The first came from the fourth line off the stick of Kevan Kilistoff after a nice setup by Joel Gaudet while Adam Tambellini added the insurance marker on the power play in the third period. The Birds' PP finished the night at 25 per cent while the Eagle penalty killers prevented the Rivermen from capitalizing on their three opportunities with the man advantage.

Despite losing the playoff opener, the Rivermen have a number of positives to build on ahead of Game 2. Langley out shot Surrey 33-27 on Friday night and had a number of high quality scoring chances. The key for the 'Men will be solving Santaguida. The Langley club will also likely be without the services of defenceman Mark Whiteley after he left Game 1 in the second period with an upper body injury and did not return to the action. The injury could prove to be a big hit for the Rivermen as they're already missing 20-year-old blue liner Logan Smith to injury.

If you're attending the game, make sure to bring your radio and listen to the play-by-play in the arena on 88.7FM.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: Be there at 7:00pm.

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast or on 88.7FM in the arena.

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown



Friday, March 15, 2013

Santaguida Shuts Out Rivermen in Playoff Opener

Surrey Eagles net minder Michael Santaguida put forth a phenomenal effort in the playoff opener, making 33 saves en route to a 2-0 shutout over the Langley Rivermen at the South Surrey Arena on Friday evening. The Birds got goals from Kevan Kilistoff and Adam Tambellini in the win.

The game started out quickly with a lot of big hits and odd man rushes. Demico Hannoun had a phenomenal opportunity to open the scoring for Surrey in the early going when he made a beautiful deke between his legs to get around a defender down the left wing, but Langley goalie James Barr flashed the left pad to keep the game scoreless. The Rivermen had an opportunity of their own moments later when Mario Puskarich was left alone in the slot, but he fired a wrist shot wide of the net. The Eagles found the opening goal late in the first when Joel Gaudet chipped the puck past a Langley defender at the Surrey blue line and skated in on a two-on-one. Gaudet then fed a nice pass across the slot to Kilistoff who buried the first goal of the post-season for the Birds.

The Rivermen lost one of their top defenceman early in the second period when Mark Whiteley went hard into the end boards and skated off the ice holding his shoulder. The Surrey native did not return to the game and was later taken to hospital. The game settled down a bit as the middle frame wore on. Both teams traded chances but Santaguida and Barr stopped everything they saw, and the Eagles maintained the 1-0 lead.

Langley came out flying in the third and pinned the Birds in their own zone on a number of occasions but couldn't find an equalizer. Surrey doubled the lead on the power play when Adam Tambellini tipped a Brady Shaw wrister past Barr while Nathan Craft looked on from the penalty box. Santaguida was called into action again late in the game when he made a spectacular right pad save on Derek Sutliffe who was sprung in on a breakaway to secure the shutout.

Langley out shot Surrey 33-27. The Eagles went 1-for-4 on the power play while the Rivermen were 0-for-3. Game 2 goes on Saturday night at the South Surrey Arena. Get to the rink at 7:00pm. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Brady Shaw - Surrey
3. Demico Hannoun - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
3. Adam Tambellini - Surrey



Pre-Game Report: Game 1 - Eagles vs. Rivermen

The 2013 Fred Page Cup playoffs get underway on Friday evening, and the Surrey Eagles will open up against the Langley Rivermen in the Mainland Division Semi-Final. The Birds finished in first and have home ice advantage in the best-of-five series while the Rivermen ended the season in fourth in the division, five points ahead of the last place Coquitlam Express.

After a season series that saw Surrey take seven of eight games from Langley, including all four at the South Surrey Arena, the Eagles will be looking to get out to a strong start in the post-season on home ice. Surrey hasn't lost in regulation at the nest since December 16th thanks in large part to the play of Michael Santaguida in net. The Ontario native picked up some hardware earlier this week after winning the BCHL's Goaltending Award by posting a league-best 2.28 goals-against average in the regular season. Devon Toews was also honoured as the Coastal Conference's Top Defenceman.

The Rivermen were also represented when the league awards were handed out as forward Mario Puskarich took home the Brett Hull Trophy as the top scorer after amassing an impressive 89 points (41 goals, 48 assists). Hailing from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Puskarich is one part of a dangerous top line for Langley that also consists of Evan Campbell and James Robinson. The trio combined for 23 points against the Birds during the regular season. The Rivermen are entering their first playoff series since the team was renamed in 2011.

If you're attending the game, make sure to bring your radio and listen to the play-by-play in the arena on 88.7FM.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: Be there at 7:00pm.

How to listen: Eagles Broadcast or on 88.7FM in the arena.

How to watch: Fast Hockey

Head-to-Head Breakdown





Thursday, March 14, 2013

Defend The Nest



For playoff tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Special thanks to Jim Hughson of Hockey Night in Canada, Mark Madryga of Global BC and Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts for their contributions.

Eagles vs. Rivermen: By the Numbers

With the start of the first round series between the Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen just over 24 hours away, I crunched some numbers from the season series between the two teams to get you prepped for the start of the post-season tomorrow. For tickets to the opening round, call 604-531-GOAL (4625), and help the Eagles defend the nest.

Record in Season Series
Surrey - 7-1-0-0
Langley - 1-6-0-1

Game-by-Game Breakdown
October 26, 2012 at Surrey; Surrey won 5-3
October 27, 2012 at Langley; Langley won 6-5
November 1, 2012 at Langley; Surrey won 2-1 in OT
November 27, 2012 at Langley; Surrey won 7-3
January 13, 2013 at Langley; Surrey won 10-2
January 26, 2013 at Surrey; Surrey won 3-1
February 2, 2013 at Surrey; Surrey won 5-3
February 11, 2013 at Surrey; Surrey won 4-1

Home/Road Record
Surrey - Home: 4-0-0-0; Road: 3-1-0-0
Langley - Home: 1-2-0-1; Road: 0-4-0-0

Goals
Surrey outscored Langley 41-20 

Even Strength Goals
Surrey outscored Langley 28-16

Power Play
Surrey: 13/41 (31.71%)
Langley: 4/27 (14.81%)

Penalty Kill
Surrey: 4/27 (85.19%)
Langley: 13/41 (68.29%)

Surrey Goalies
Michael Santaguida: 7-1-0, 2.37 GAA, .926%, 8GP
Brenden Sharp: 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000%, 1GP

Langley Goalies
James Barr: 1-6-0, 4.44 GAA, .891%, 8GP
Darren Hogg: 0-1-0, 6.26 GAA, .796%, 4GP

Surrey Top Scorers
Brady Shaw (9-9-18)
Drew Best (2-10-12)
Devon Toews (0-9-9)
Brett Mulcahy (3-5-8)
Michael Stenerson (2-6-8)

Langley Top Scorers
Mario Puskarich (6-5-11)
Mitch McLain (5-4-9)
Evan Campbell (1-8-9)
Austin Azurdia (2-3-5)
Matt Ustaski (2-2-4)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Playoffs Start Friday!

The Matt Erhart Show: March 13, 2013

On a playoff preview edition of the Matt Erhart Show, Brendan Batchelor talked with the Head Coach and GM of the Eagles about the final weekend of the regular season, the team's award winners and the upcoming first round series against Langley.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Batch's Breakdown: March 12, 2013

The Eagles wrapped up the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Coquitlam Express. The Birds picked up three of four points with a convincing 8-1 victory on Friday before falling 3-2 in double overtime on Saturday in the season finale.

Friday, March 8th at Coquitlam

Surrey dominated this game from the opening face-off to the final buzzer. Trevor Cameron got the Eagles on the board in the first minute of the game, and it was all downhill from there. Coquitlam goalie Daniel Urbani was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 12 shots and while Cole Huggins made a couple of big saves after coming into the game, his numbers weren't much better as the Eagles beat him four times on just 14 shots.

Saturday, March 9th vs. Coquitlam

The return match-up at the South Surrey Arena was a much cagier affair. In the end, the Express won the game 3-2 in overtime when former Eagle Brandon Morley setup Michael Maciag for the game winner. All three of Coquitlam's goals came after sloppy turnovers by the Eagles. The loss marked the first time the Birds have been on the wrong end of a game at the SSA since a 2-0 shutout loss on December 16th against Prince George.

Positives from the Week

Despite giving up a third period lead on Saturday, the Eagles clinched the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy with the single point, finishing atop the regular season standings for the first time in 16 years. Maybe even more importantly, they didn't sustain any more serious injuries and will likely be healthier than they've been in weeks when they begin the playoffs on Friday against Langley.

The Surrey power play was strong in both games going a combined 4-for-10 on the weekend. The Birds had set themselves a goal of going at least 25 per cent on the power play in the last six games of the year, and they achieved that goal, scoring on 29.63% of their opportunities with the man advantage in that span.

Michael Stenerson stood out to me as probably the best Eagle player on the weekend. The Surrey native now has a five game goal scoring streak heading into the playoffs and has been peaking at the right time, playing well in both ends of the ice.

Negatives from the Week

The only negative from the performance on Friday was the fact that the Eagles gave up a goal, and even then it came off the rebound of a very nice stop by Michael Santaguida. However, the game on Saturday was a different story. All three Coquitlam goals were direct results of sloppy passes and bad turnovers. The good news for the Eagles is that Saturday was essentially a mean-nothing game, and they'll have an entire week of practice to correct any issues before Friday's playoff opener against the Rivermen.

Goal of the Week

Michael Stenerson's goal vs. Coquitlam on Friday

See it by clicking here.

Save of the Week

Michael Santaguida's stop on Adam Rossignol vs. Coquitlam on Friday

See it by clicking here.

3 Stars of the Week
1. Michael Stenerson
2. Michael Santaguida
3. Trevor Cameron

As you will have noticed if you've followed the blog this season, I've named my own 3 Stars for each game throughout the year. I've tracked the 3 Star standings and with the end of the regular season, I'll now name my 3 Stars of the Year. Each player was awarded five points for every first star, three points for every second star and one point for every third star.

Batch's 3 Stars of the Year
1. Brady Shaw - 56 points
2. Michael Santaguida - 50 points
3. Devon Toews - 31 points

Toews and Santaguida Pick Up League Awards

For immediate release: March 12, 2013

Surrey, BC - On Tuesday, the BCHL announced its end of year player awards, and Surrey Eagles goalie Michael Santaguida won the league's Goaltending Award while blue liner Devon Toews was named the Coastal Conference's Top Defenceman.

The BCHL Goaltending Award is given to the goaltender who finishes the regular season with the lowest goals-against average of all net minders who have played a minimum of 1,000 minutes. Santaguida becomes the first Eagles goalie to ever win the award as he finished the year with a sparkling 2.28 goals-against-average to go along with a .933 save percentage and a league-best 29 wins. The 20-year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario also posted two shutouts and tallied three assists.

"It's a tremendous honour for Michael to be named the league's top goaltender," said Eagles Head Coach and GM Matt Erhart. "He solidified our goalie position from the tenth game of the season onwards and proved he was the top goalie in the league with his impressive numbers. We wouldn't have finished where we did in the standings without Michael."

The Top Defenceman is awarded to one player from each conference who has been judged by BCHL coaches to be the most outstanding performer at his position during the regular season. Toews is the third Eagles defenceman to win the award, joining Jacob Ficenec who won it in 1998 and Nathan Oystrick who won it in 2002. The Abbotsford native finished in a tie for second in league scoring by defencemen with 10 goals and 37 assists in 48 games.

"Devon really elevated his game to an elite status in the league this year," said Erhart. "He's known for his offensive game, but he has really turned himself into an excellent two-way defenceman this season. He plays big minutes in all situations for us and has been a key part of our success as a team."

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club would like to congratulate Devon and Michael on their impressive accomplishments.

The Birds open the playoffs with a Mainland Division Semi-Final clash against the Langley Rivermen. Game 1 in the series goes on Friday, March 15th at the South Surrey Arena. Fans are encouraged to get to the rink early and wear white to support the Eagles and help defend the nest.

For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Highlights vs. Coquitlam

Make sure to select HD for the best quality of viewing! Road highlights courtesy of the Coquitlam Express.



Birds Claim Boileau Trophy

For immediate release: March 11, 2013

Surrey, BC - At the conclusion of the 2012-2013 British Columbia Hockey League regular season on Sunday, the Surrey Eagles were named the winners of the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy, awarded to the team who finishes the season with the most points in the league.

The Eagles claimed the trophy for the second time in their history with a league best record of 35-13-3-5, finishing the year with 78 points. The last time Surrey had the best record in the league was in the 1996-1997 season when the Birds put up 100 points and went on to win the Fred Page Cup, Mowat Cup, Doyle Cup and Abbott Cup before losing in the final at the Royal Bank Cup.

"It's a great accomplishment as a team and organization to finish first in the regular season, especially with the amount of parity in the BCHL this year," said Eagles Head Coach and GM Matt Erhart. "Having said that, it's just one step along a road that we hope leads to bigger and better things, and that starts on Friday with what we know will be a tough first round match-up against Langley."

This year's edition of the Eagles will now turn their attention to the post-season and a Mainland Division Semi-Final clash with the Langley Rivermen. Game 1 in the series goes on Friday, March 15th at the South Surrey Arena. Fans are encouraged to get to the rink early and wear white to support the Eagles and help defend the nest.

For playoff tickets, call the Eagles office at 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Express Win In OT; Eagles Clinch First

Michael Maciag scored the winning goal at 2:56 of double overtime to lift the Coquitlam Express to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Surrey Eagles in the last game of the regular season for both teams. Despite the loss, Surrey clinched the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy with the single point. It's the second time the Eagles have finished atop the league's regular season standings, and the first time they've done it in 16 years.

The Birds opened the scoring early in the first period for the second night in a row. Kevan Kilistoff tallied his seventh goal of the year when he chipped the puck past Cole Huggins to give the home team the lead. Surrey maintained the advantage throughout the first period and took the 1-0 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes of play.

In the second, Coquitlam pulled even when Mitch Fyffe scored on Michael Santaguida at 7:01, but the Eagles retook the lead with a power play goal late in the period as Michael Stenerson deflected Adam Tambellini's point shot past Huggins to make it 2-1. Stenerson is red hot heading into the post season. The Surrey native has a goal in his last five games in a row.

The Express pressured the Birds in the third, searching for an equalizer, and they found it just after the midway mark of the period when former Eagle Brandon Morley tied the game with a great individual effort as he forced a turnover deep in the Surrey zone, intercepting a pass on the fore check, before walking out front and beating Santaguida with a backhander. Neither team was able to find a go ahead goal in the third, and the game went to OT.

The two teams traded chances in the first overtime period, and Coquitlam had a great chance to end the game when Dan O'Keefe was called for tripping, giving the Express a power play. But the Surrey penalty kill was equal to the task, forcing the game into double overtime. Maciag scored the winner on a 2-on-1 after Morley made a great pass off the left wing to find him going hard to the net, and the Coquitlam defenseman just had to direct the puck into the net.

Surrey was 1-for-4 on the man advantage while Coquitlam was 0-for-4. The Express out shot the Eagles 40-36.

The Eagles also handed out their end of season player awards prior to the game. Here's the list of winners:

MVP: Brady Shaw
Top Scorer: Brady Shaw
Top Defenseman: Devon Toews
Rookie of the Year: Michael Santaguida
Hardest Worker: Trevor Cameron
Unsung Hero: Craig Wyszomirski
Most Sportsmanlike: Michael Stenerson
Most Improved: Nic Pierog
Heart and Soul: Brett Mulcahy
Fan Favourite: Brady Shaw

Up next for Surrey, it's the playoffs! The Eagles open the first round against the Langley Rivermen on Friday evening. Be at the rink at 7:00pm to help the Birds defend the nest. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Brandon Morley - Coquitlam
2. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
3. Drew Best - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Brandon Morley - Coquitlam
2. Michael Stenerson - Surrey
3. Drew Best - Surrey