Christian Fitzgerald and his Surrey Eagles teammates scored a 5-1 win over the Coquitlam Express Friday, in the opening game of the BCHL’s 2021 hub season. (Damon James photo)

Christian Fitzgerald and his Surrey Eagles teammates scored a 5-1 win over the Coquitlam Express Friday, in the opening game of the BCHL’s 2021 hub season. (Damon James photo)

Surrey Eagles derail Express to win first game of BCHL’s ‘hub season’

Eagles followed up with 5-2 loss to Powell River Kings Sunday in Burnaby

On Friday in Burnaby, 406 days after their last regular-season game, 408 days after their last regular-season win, and 146 days since they last played a game at all – a 6-0 victory in an exhibition game last November, before the BC Hockey League suspended play due to provincial health orders – the Surrey Eagles stepped onto the ice for a game that actually mattered.

They snagged a win, to boot – a 5-1 victory over the Coquitlam Express – but two days later, on Easter Sunday, they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Powell River Kings, the third team in the three-team Burnaby hub. The three teams will face off against only each other over the course of the 2021 20-game mini season, which is to last five weeks.

The league’s other hub cities – all of which include between three and four teams – are Chilliwack, Penticton, Port Alberni and Vernon.

• READ ALSO: Surrey Eagles ‘absolutely thrilled’ with announcement of BCHL season

In Friday’s opener, five different Eagles found their way onto the score sheet. White Rock’s Buddy Johnson scored the first goal of the season halfway through the first period, and though Coquitlam’s Sam Marit tied it up before the first intermission, the final two periods were dominated by the Birds.

Newcomers Tate Taylor and Alec Saretzky scored in the middle frame, and Michael Abgrall – who was acquired last offseason from Powell River – extended the lead to 4-1 less than three minutes into the third. Wil Kushniryk tacked on a fifth goal six minutes later to round out the scoring.

Veteran netminder Tommy Scarfone stopped 29 of 30 shots to earn the win between the pipes.

After the game, Eagles head coach Cam Keith said, in a recap posted to the team’s website, that it was tough to single out any individual player after the opening night victory.

“Everyone contributed tonight offensively. It’s really hard to pick a standout player, which is a positive sign for our group,” he said.

Keith also noted that while the win was nice, his team’s performance was far from perfect.

“We can be better at managing the puck and playing within ourselves. The hockey will get harder as teams find their games and we’ll need to adjust accordingly.”

Sunday’s contest against the Kings was the polar opposite of Friday’s tilt, with the Eagles falling behind early instead of taking a lead as they did against the Express. Powell River scored twice in each of the first two periods and led 4-0 by the second intermission.

In the third, the Eagles clawed back to make it 4-2 on goals from Tio D’Addario and Tyson McLean, but the Kings added one goal in the final three minutes, and held onto the three-goal cushion until the final buzzer.

“As a group, we didn’t have the right mindset to find our game early,” Keith said.

The Eagles play their third game of the season Wednesday (April 7) against Powell River. On Thursday they face the Express and Saturday will play Powell River again.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHLSurrey Eagles

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

Just Posted

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

A vaccine-filled needle awaits injection, during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held Jan. 15, 2021 at Amica White Rock. Community Living B.C.-funded workers learned April 8 that they, too, can now be vaccinated. (Tracy Holmes file photo)
Support workers for those with disabilities given vaccine priority

News shared with Community Living B.C.-funded staff on April 8

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

Scott Wheatley stands with the main Kenyan and Ugandan umpiring crew that he trained at the Nakirebe Complex outside of Kampala in 2020. Wheatley, a member-at-large with Softball B.C. is supporting a recent open letter from the sporting body that calls on the government to reinstate gameplay for kids in organized sports. (Photo: Submitted)
Softball B.C. urges provincial health officer to lift ban on gameplay for kids in organized sports

Sporting body sent open letter to both Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Valley tulip attraction returns this weekend for 1 month

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Most Read