Surrey Eagles goaltender Mario Cavaliere – shown here earlier in the season against the Cowichan Valley Capitals – made 46 saves in a win Saturday night against Prince George. (Garrett James photo)

Surrey Eagles goaltender Mario Cavaliere – shown here earlier in the season against the Cowichan Valley Capitals – made 46 saves in a win Saturday night against Prince George. (Garrett James photo)

Eagles earn split with Spruce Kings in first two games of BCHL playoff series

Games 3 and 4 set for South Surrey Arena Monday and Tuesday

The Surrey Eagles wrangled home-ice advantage away from the Prince George Spruce Kings on the weekend, earning a split in two games at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.

The series didn’t exactly start positively for the visiting Birds, however. In Game 1 of the BC Hockey League second-round series Friday night, Surrey lost in lopsided fashion – by a 9-1 score – but rebounded nicely in the rematch Saturday night, winning 3-2 in Game 2.

Though the Kings, by virtue of their first-place finish in the Mainland Division, entered the series with home-ice advantage, the Eagles now have the edge; after a win and a loss in Prince George, three of the next five games are scheduled for South Surrey.

“Anytime you start on the road, the goal is to at least get one of the two (wins). You always want two out of two, but you can’t be too greedy,” said Eagles head coach Brandon West.

“You’ll take a split on the road anytime.”

The best-of-seven series now shifts to the Semiahmoo Peninsula for Games 3 and 4. The third game is set to hit the ice at South Surrey Arena tonight (Monday), and Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday. The puck drops at 7 p.m. both nights.

He was particularly pleased that his squad was able to rebound Saturday after a less-than-stellar Game 1 performance that saw the Spruce Kings score early and often – they scored twice in the first six minutes of the game, and added five unanswered tallies in the third period to put the game on ice.

Eagles starting goaltender Mario Cavaliere stopped 33 of 39 shots he faced, before he was relieved early in the third period by Daniel Davidson. Surrey’s lone goal came from defenceman Jackson Ross, midway through the first period to make it 2-1 Prince George.

“We chased the game right from the get-go on Friday night. I think the speed of the game really caught us standing still,” West said. “We were the victim of a lot of bounces not going our way, and we never earned any bounces of our own. The guys owned it right after the game, and we flipped the page and prepared for Game 2.

“I thought our competitive level was much higher (Saturday), and we got a better game from every single guy. We were a totally different hockey team on Saturday night… and it’s a whole new series now that we were able to win.”

Unlike Friday night’s offensive explosion, Saturday’s tilt started slower, with neither team scoring in the opening 20 minutes. In the second, however, the Eagles – who defeated the Langley Rivermen in the first round of the playoffs – took their first lead of the series when Desi Burgart scored his ninth of the playoffs, on the power play.

Aaron White made it 2-0 Birds five minutes later, giving the visitors a two-goal cushion after 40 minutes.

In the third, Prince George mounted a comeback, with goals from Ethan de Jong and Ben Brar sandwiched around a John Wesley tally for Surrey. Brar’s goal game with just one second remaining in the game.

Cavaliere, like most of his teammates, had a strong rebound game, stopping 46 shots, including 15 of 17 in the third.

“He had a chance to bounce back from his game on Friday night and he did,” said West.

“That’s what a No. 1 goaltender is supposed to do for you – give you a chance to win. And he gave us a chance on Saturday night.”

BCHLSurrey Eagles

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health staff prepare for the reopening of Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta on April 15, 2021. (Fraser Health photo)
Delta hospice at centre of MAiD fight to reopen Thursday

Fraser Health will reopen all 10 beds at the facility on April 15

Surrey-raised Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in “1 Hour Photo,” a Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production to be presented online by Surrey Civic Theatres on April 23-24. (submitted photo/Raymond Shum)
‘This Japanese kid who grew up in Whalley’ thrilled to return with acclaimed ‘1 Hour Photo’

City’s Digital Stage to show Tetsuro Shigematsu’s solo portrait of Mas Yamamoto

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read