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Surrey Eagles eliminated from BCHL playoffs after Game 4 loss to Nanaimo

Clippers defeat Eagles 6-2 at Surrey Surrey Arena to complete first-round sweep
The Surrey Eagles were eliminated from the BC Hockey League playoffs after a 6-2 Game 4 loss to the Nanaimo Clippers Tuesday in South Surrey. (Garrett James photo)

The Surrey Eagles’ season is over, after being swept 4-0 by the Nanaimo Clippers in the first round of the BC Hockey League playoffs.

The Eagles, who were the sixth seed in the Coastal Conference bracket – the Clippers were third – lost Game 4 by a 6-2 score Tuesday night at South Surrey Arena.

A day earlier, Surrey lost Game 3 to the Clippers 3-1, which followed back-to-back road losses on Vancouver Island to start the series.

In a do-or-die situation Tuesday night, the Eagles did not exactly soar out of the gate, as Nanaimo led 2-0 after 20 minutes. Tristan Fraser midway through the period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead, and Max Itagaki scored a shorthanded goal at the 18:14 mark to extend the lead.

Early in the second, Surrey’s Ante Zlomislic bridged the gap with a goal of his own – his second of the playoffs – but things went south for the home team before the second intermission, as Nanaimo scored three goals in three minutes to take a commanding lead into the third.

Grayden Slipec did manage to bring Surrey to within three goals seven minutes into the final period, but that was as close as the Birds would get. Nanaimo added an empty-netter to round out the scoring.

Nanaimo is the first team to advance to the second round of BCHL playoffs. In other Coastal Conference best-of-seven matchups, the Langley Rivermen lead the Victoria Grizzlies 2-1; the Coquitlam Express and Chilliwack Chiefs are tie 2-2; and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs lead the Cowichan Valley Capitals 3-0.

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