Sunday, September 30, 2012

Esposito Lifts Chiefs Past Eagles

Luke Esposito scored the winner at 1:46 of the second overtime period to lift the Chilliwack Chiefs past the Surrey Eagles 4-3 on Sunday evening at the South Surrey Arena. With the win, the Chiefs have now taken two of three games against the Birds in the season series between the two teams. Josh Halpenny made 33 saves to pick up the win in his first BCHL start for Chilliwack.

However, Halpenny didn't get off to a great start. Less than five minutes into the first period, Brett Mulcahy opened the scoring for Surrey, beating Halpenny between the legs with a slap shot from centre. 1:23 later, the Eagles went up 2-0 when Michael Stenerson found Devon Toews in the high slot, and the 18-year-old defenseman fired a wrist shot past the Chilliwack net minder to give the Eagles the two goal lead. In the dying seconds of the opening frame, Cooper Rush managed to beat Surrey goaltender Michael Santaguida with a shot from the top of the left circle that found its way across the line just as the horn sounded, pulling the Chiefs to within one after 20 minutes.

In the middle frame, Chilliwack battled back to take the lead. Spencer Graboski tied the game at 11:48, netting his second goal of the year. In the late stages of the period, the Chilliwack power play came to life after going 0-for-4 up to that point. Ben Israel picked up a rebound at the left post and knocked it into the net while Mulcahy looked on from the sin bin, and the Chiefs took the 3-2 lead into the intermission.

The Eagles managed to equalize early in the third when Demico Hannoun ripped the puck past Halpenny from the high slot to even the score at 3-3. Despite a number of chances for both teams in the latter part of the third, the game remained tied and overtime would be required. Neither team could find the net until Esposito scored the winning goal, deking into the slot and beating Santaguida above the blocker to end the game.

Surrey failed to capitalize on the man advantage for a fifth straight game, despite getting six opportunities. The Eagles are 0-for-24 on the power play over that five game span. 

The Birds return to action on Friday when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings. The puck drops at 7 o'clock at the South Surrey Arena. For tickets, call 604-531-4625.

My 3 Stars:
1. Luke Esposito - Chilliwack
2. Spencer Graboski - Chilliwack
3. Devon Toews - Surrey

Official 3 Stars:
1. Spencer Graboski - Chilliwack
2. Devon Toews - Surrey
3. Michael Stenerson - Surrey

Pre-Game Report: Eagles vs. Chiefs

The Surrey Eagles and Chilliwack Chiefs will face each other for the third time in the month of September this afternoon at the South Surrey Arena. The teams split their first two match-ups as the Eagles won 3-2 in overtime on September 14th. Drew Best had the winning goal for the Birds. The following night, the Chiefs got a measure of revenge with a 4-2 win at Prospera Centre.

Surrey is coming off a tight 2-1 victory over the Coquitlam Express on Friday evening in which goaltender Michael Santaguida shone, making 30 saves in his first BCHL start. The Birds have yet to win two games in a row this season and will look to buck that trend today. Trevor Cameron will serve the third and final game of his suspension. He'll be eligible to return on Friday against Prince George. Surrey sits in third in the Mainland Division heading into today's action with a record of 4-3-0-0.

The Chiefs are also coming off a win after they defeated the Powell River Kings 3-0 on Friday. Austin Plevy, who is committed to Merrimack, leads Chilliwack with seven points in six games. Net minder Mitch Gillam has also had a strong start to the year with a 1.81 goals-against-average and a .953 save percentage. The Chiefs are currently in last place in the Mainland Division. They're 3-2-0-1.

After today's game, the Eagles will host another Sunday Skate. Bring your skates and sticks out to the rink and join the boys on the ice following the game at around 6:45pm.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: 4:00pm

How to listen: or on 88.7FM in the arena

How to watch:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Santaguida Stones Express

In his first BCHL start, Michael Santaguida made 30 saves to help the Surrey Eagles to a 2-1 victory over the Coquitlam Express at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex on Friday night. Surrey improved to 4-3-0-0 on the season with the win while the Express lost their second straight game to fall to 4-2-0-0.

The Birds got on the board early in the first when Joel Gaudet scored his first BCHL goal as he walked into the slot uncontested and tucked the puck past the right pad of Coquitlam goaltender Cole Huggins. Surrey would double its lead before the end of the opening frame when Tommy Stepancik's point shot took an odd bounce in front of the goal and found its way into the net at 9:07.

Neither team was able to find the net in the second period, but the Express pulled to within one midway through the third when Brady Shaw fired a tough angle shot from the left corner that found its way between the legs of Santaguida. The Eagles got into penalty trouble late in the game, giving the Express a 6-on-3 advantage with Huggins on the bench, but Santaguida was equal to the challenge, making a number of big saves to help secure the win for Surrey.

Both teams struggled with the man advantage, each going 0-for-6 on the power play. The Express penalty kill, which has yet to surrender a goal this season, remains tops in the league.

Kolten Grieve played his first game of the regular season for Surrey after he was added to the roster earlier in the day. Trevor Cameron sat out the second game of his three game suspension.

Up next, the Eagles return home for a Sunday afternoon match-up with the Chilliwack Chiefs at the South Surrey Arena. The puck drops at 4pm. For tickets, call 604-531-4625.

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Mitch Nardi - Coquitlam
3. Devon Toews - Surrey

Official 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Mitch Nardi - Coquitlam
3. Devon Toews - Surrey

Grieve Added to Roster, Eagles Part Ways with Orser

For immediate release: September 28, 2012

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club announced on Friday that forward Kolten Grieve (94) has been added to the team's roster. Grieve had a strong training camp with the Eagles but has been sidelined due to injury for the past few weeks.

As a result, the Eagles and defenseman Beau Orser have decided to part ways. Orser put up 17 points over parts of three seasons in his time in Surrey.

"We made a decision for the team and for Beau as a player, what would be best for both sides," said Eagles assistant coach Peter Schaefer. "We came to an agreement where he's going to try to get an opportunity with another club."

The Eagles would like to thank Orser for his time spent in the organization and wish him all the best in the future.

Pre-Game Report: Eagles at Express

The Surrey Eagles will pay their first visit of the season to the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex tonight to face the Coquitlam Express. It's the first of eight meetings between the two lower mainland rivals. The teams met twice in the pre-season. The first game was a 4-4 tie in Coquitlam while the Eagles won 4-2 in the return match-up at the South Surrey Arena.

Surrey is coming off a hard fought 5-4 loss at the hands of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday. Since then, the team released goaltender Edward Dyson, who allowed five goals on 31 shots in the loss to the 'Dogs, and added Mississauga, Ontario native Michael Santaguida to the roster. Meanwhile, Demico Hannoun has had a strong start to the season, leading the team in points (7) and assists (4). The 16-year-old has also scored in both of his last two games and has five points in that span. The Birds have yet to win two games in a row this season and sit with a record of 3-3-0-0, good enough for third in the Mainland Division.

The Express enter tonight's action atop the Mainland Division with a record of 4-1-0-0. Their only loss of the season came last Sunday against the Victoria Grizzlies. A big reason for Coquitlam's early season success is the strength of their penalty kill as they have yet to allow a power play goal in 26 man advantage opportunities for their opponents. Cole Huggins has been a wall in goal for the Express as well. The native of Englewood, Colorado leads the league in goals-against-average (0.86) and save percentage (.974). He also has two shutouts in four starts and was named the BCHL Player of the Week after the Showcase weekend at the beginning of the season.

Where: Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex

When: 7:00pm

How to listen:

How to watch:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Matt Erhart Show: September 26, 2012

Eagles Make Change in Goal

For immediate release: September 26, 2012

On Wednesday, the Surrey Eagles Hockey Club announced the addition of goaltender Michael Santaguida (93) to its roster.

Santaguida comes to Surrey from the Tri-City Storm of the USHL where he started this season. Previously, the Mississauga, Ontario native spent two seasons playing for Avon Old Farms Prep School in Connecticut.

The Eagles also released goaltender Edward Dyson (92). The team would like to wish Edward all the best in his future endeavours.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bulldogs Clip Eagles 5-4

Evan Tironese scored twice to lead the Alberni Valley Bulldogs to a 5-4 victory over the Surrey Eagles at the South Surrey Arena on Sunday afternoon. Edward Dyson made 26 saves in the losing cause for the Birds who fell to 3-3-0-0 on the season.

In the first period, the Eagles got into penalty trouble and the ‘Dogs made them pay for it. Evan Anderson opened the scoring for Alberni Valley at 12:57 of the opening frame while Nic Pierog watched from the sin bin. Before the period was out, Kurt Gosselin doubled the lead for the Bulldogs with Devon Toews in the box.

The two teams each scored twice in the second period. First, Alberni took a 3-0 lead when Tironese beat Dyson at 5:28. But just over two minutes later, Stefan Burzan scored his first goal as an Eagle to put Surrey on the board. The Bulldogs retook the three-goal lead at 9:11 when Tironese netted his second of the afternoon, and with just over a minute remaining in the sandwich stanza, Brett Mulcahy found the net, scoring his team leading fourth of the year to make the score 4-2 in favour of the ‘Dogs after 40 minutes.

The Birds pulled to within one goal early in the third when Demico Hannoun beat Alberni Valley net minder Brad Rebagliati high on the glove side for his third marker of the season. But the ‘Dogs weren’t done yet as Nathan Craft put his name on the score sheet with an unassisted goal to give his team the two goal lead. Devon Toews answered back for the Eagles at 12:49, but Surrey couldn’t get an equalizer, despite a number of good chances late in the game.

Specialty teams proved to be a key factor in the loss for the Eagles. Alberni Valley went 2-for-4 with the man advantage while the Birds were 0-for-4 on the power play.

Trevor Cameron didn’t play for Surrey after he was handed a three game suspension for his fight with Jaden Schmeisser in Friday’s win over Victoria. He’ll be eligible to return to the line-up on October 5th when Surrey hosts Prince George.

The Eagles get back at it on Friday evening when they pay their first visit of the season to the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex to face the Coquitlam Express. The face-off will be at 7:00pm.

My 3 Stars:
1. Evan Tironese – Alberni Valley
2. Kurt Gosselin – Alberni Valley
3. Stefan Burzan – Surrey

Official 3 Stars:
1. Devon Toews – Surrey
2. Evan Tironese – Alberni Valley
3. Demico Hannoun - Surrey

Pre-Game Report: Eagles vs. Bulldogs

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs will pay their lone visit to the South Surrey Arena this season on Sunday afternoon to face the Surrey Eagles. The Birds are coming off a close 3-2 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies on Friday evening while the 'Dogs are playing their third game in as many nights after a pair of losses to Coquitlam and Langley.

Edward Dyson had a bounce back performance in goal for the Eagles on Friday evening in his second start of the year. The 20-year-old Port Alberni native gave up six goals in his first game of the season on September 9th, but against the Grizzlies, Dyson made 38 saves to pick up his first career BCHL win. Offensively, 18-year-old Michigan native Drew Best has been hot of late for Surrey, scoring goals in his last three straight games. The Eagles currently sit in third in the Mainland Division with a record of 3-2-0-0.

It's been a tough weekend so far for Alberni Valley as the Bulldogs lost 6-2 in Coquitlam on Friday and were shutout 7-0 by the Langley Rivermen on Saturday. However, the 'Dogs boast the league's top two scorers as Lars Hepso, who was the BCHL Player of the Week last week, has 10 points through six games while teammate Ryan Lough has put up nine points. Hepso also leads the league in goal scoring with seven. Alberni Valley has a record of 2-3-0-1 and sits in fourth in the Island Division.

This afternoon's game will be heard on TEAM1040 in the lower mainland. It's the first of five Eagles games on Vancouver's #1 all-sports station this season.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: 4:00pm

How to listen:

How to watch:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Birds Get Past Grizzlies

The Surrey Eagles picked up their third win of the 2012-2013 season, defeating the Victoria Grizzlies 3-2 on Friday evening at the South Surrey Arena. Surrey goaltender Edward Dyson made 38 saves in his first BCHL victory between the pipes while Demico Hannoun scored his second game winning goal of the season.

The Eagles were heavily out shot in the opening frame but managed to take the lead in the late going of the period. With 50 seconds to go in the first, Drew Best opened the scoring with a one-timer in the deep slot after Michael Stenerson fed him a nice pass from behind the net. The goal was Best's third marker in as many games.

Surrey doubled its lead at 6:53 of the second period when Stenerson received a pass from Hannoun in the high slot and beat Victoria net minder Michael Stiliadis cleanly. But before the stanza expired, Victoria pulled within one when Gerry Fitzgerald tapped home a rebound off a Blake Thompson point shot.

Less than a minute into the third, the Grizzlies tied the game on the power play when Myles Fitzgerald beat Dyson, netting his third of the year to even the score at 2-2. However, Hannoun would knock home the winning goal just a few minutes later as he drove hard to the slot with the puck and shovelled it past Stiliadis after being knocked to the ice, giving the Birds the victory.

Victoria was 1-for-4 on the power play while the Eagles were unable to convert with the man advantage, finishing 0-for-4.

The Eagles also welcomed two new additions to the lineup as both Mason Blacklock and Tommy Stipancik played their first games in green, white and blue. 

Surrey's next game is Sunday afternoon as the Birds will host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in their lone visit to the South Surrey Arena this season. The puck drops at 4pm. 

My 3 Stars:
1. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
2. Edward Dyson - Surrey
3. Leo Fitzgerald - Victoria

Official 3 Stars:
1. Edward Dyson - Surrey
2. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
3. Gerry Fitzgerald - Victoria

Friday, September 21, 2012

Eagles Add Stipancik, Release Tracy

For immediate release: September 21, 2012

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club announced today that the team has added defenseman Tommy Stipancik (94) to its roster.

Stipancik played for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League last season, scoring three points in 34 games played.

As a result of the addition of Stipancik, the team released forward Chris Tracy. The Eagles would like to wish Chris the best in his future endeavours.

Pre-Game Report: Eagles vs. Grizzlies

The Surrey Eagles will return to action this evening against the Victoria Grizzlies in the first of two meetings between the teams this season. In eight match-ups against the Grizzlies last year, the Eagles won six games and lost only one. The other game finished in a 4-4 tie.

Surrey is coming off a disappointing 4-2 loss in Chilliwack last Saturday. In that game, the Eagles gave up three goals in under four minutes early in the second period. Head coach Matt Erhart knows his team needs a better 60 minute effort tonight.

"We had a stretch in the second period where we were caught standing around watching Chilliwack move their feet," said Erhart. "They put three by us pretty quickly and I think that was the difference in the game right there."

Brett Mulcahy has been a pleasant surprise to start the year. The 19-year-old has three goals in four games. Mulcahy only had eight goals in the 2011-2012 season. Rookie forward Drew Best has also had a good start offensively, scoring twice including the overtime winner over Chilliwack last Friday.

The Grizzlies enter tonight's action in first place in the Island Division with a record of 3-0-0-1. Victoria is coming off a 2-1 victory over Cowichan Valley last Saturday. The Fitzgerald triplets, Gerry, Leo and Myles, are new additions to the Grizzlies this year after making the move to the island in an off-season trade from Prince George. The three brothers have combined for nine points in four games to start the season.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: 7:00pm

How to listen:

How to watch:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mason Blacklock Interview

I had a chance to talk with the newest member of the Surrey Eagles, Mason Blacklock, earlier today. The Surrey native was acquired in a trade from Nanaimo on Saturday.

Hear the full interview here:

Eagles Fall to Chiefs in Chilliwack

The Surrey Eagles fell to 2-2-0-0 on the season after a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Chilliwack Chiefs at Prospera Centre on Saturday evening. Mitch Gillam had a strong game in goal for the Chiefs, making 41 saves to pick up his second win of the season.

Neither team was able to score in the first period, but the Chiefs found the net just 1:26 into the middle frame when Spencer Graboski fired a wrist shot from the slot that beat Surrey net minder Glenn Ferguson up high. Just 2:31 later, the Chiefs scored again. This time Luke Esposito scored on Ferguson with a backhander off a rebound in front of goal. And Chilliwack wasn’t done there. Less than two minutes after Esposito’s goal, Tanner Cochrane added his name to the score sheet, giving the Chiefs a 3-0 lead before the second period was six minutes old.

Brett Mulcahy scored the first goal for the Eagles at 11:24 after Eric Chevrier’s point shot missed the net and bounced off the end boards, allowing Mulcahy to bat the puck past Gillam at the right post. But the Chiefs would regain the three goal lead before the second period was out as Josh Hansen netted his second goal of the season with just 1:09 to go in the stanza.

Chilliwack maintained the 4-1 lead until late in the third when Drew Best, who scored the overtime winner for Surrey on Friday night, tallied his second of the year with just 35.5 seconds remaining in the hockey game.

All six goals in the hockey game were scored at even strength. The Eagles power play, which scored twice on Friday, went 0-for-4 while the Chiefs were 0-for-2.

Beau Orser of the Eagles and Brodyn Nielsen of the Chiefs were each given fighting majors and game misconducts after the two dropped the gloves late in the third period. Orser landed a couple of right hands but in the end the fight couldn't be ruled as anything other than a draw with neither combatant taking a clear upper hand.

Surrey's newest addition, Mason Blacklock, was not in the lineup after being acquired from Nanaimo earlier in the day. He is expected to join the team this week and will likely be available to play next weekend.

The Eagles next game is on Friday, September 21st against the Victoria Grizzlies at the South Surrey Arena. The face-off goes at 7:00pm. Get your tickets by calling 604-531-4625.

My 3 Stars:
1. Spencer Graboski - Chilliwack
2. Mitch Gillam – Chilliwack
3. Luke Esposito – Chilliwack

Official 3 Stars:
1. Spencer Graboski - Chilliwack
2. Luke Esposito – Chilliwack
3. Josh Hansen - Chilliwack

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Eagles Acquire Blacklock from Nanaimo

For immediate release: September 15, 2012

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club announced today that the team has acquired forward Mason Blacklock (94) from the Nanaimo Clippers in exchange for future considerations.

The 18-year-old Surrey native spent the majority of last season in Nanaimo after being traded to the Clippers from Langley. Blacklock put up 17 points in 53 games in the 2011-2012 campaign and has played in two games for the Clippers this year.

“Mason is a big forward with a left shot who will fit in well with our group and style of play,” said Eagles head coach and GM Matt Erhart. “I believe he has offensive upside and can flourish in an Eagles uniform.”

The team also released forward Harlan Orr (95) today. The Eagles would like to wish Harlan all the best in his future endeavours.

Pre-Game Report: Eagles at Chiefs

The Surrey Eagles will pay a visit to the Prospera Centre this evening to take on the Chilliwack Chiefs for the second night in a row. 

The Birds came from behind last night to defeat the Chiefs 3-2. The win was capped off by Drew Best's double overtime winner to give Surrey its second win of the young season. It was the first BCHL goal for the native of Plymouth, Michigan. 

The Eagles scored two of their three goals on Friday with the man advantage, and Surrey's power play has found the net 25 per cent of the time through three games. Meanwhile, the Chiefs went 0-for-5 on the power play in the loss to the Birds.

Mitch Gillam had a strong outing in goal for the Chiefs, despite picking up the loss. The 19-year-old made 34 saves and has a .948 save percentage so far this year. Glenn Ferguson improved to 2-0 with the victory in net for the Eagles. The Surrey native has allowed four goals in his first two BCHL starts.

Tonight's game marks the Chiefs official home opener even though they already played two games at the Prospera Centre during the BCHL Showcase. Chilliwack was strong at home last year, losing only eight games in regulation. 

Where: Prospera Centre, Chilliwack, BC

When: 7:00pm

Friday, September 14, 2012

Birds Best Chiefs

Drew Best scored the overtime winner at 1:04 of the second extra period to lift the Surrey Eagles to a 3-2 come from behind victory over the Chilliwack Chiefs at the South Surrey Arena. The goal was Best's first in the BCHL and gave the Eagles their second win of the young season.

The Chiefs opened the scoring at 4:19 of the first period when Josh Hansen pounced on a rebound in the slot, hammering the puck past Surrey goaltender Glenn Ferguson who was making his second start of the season. Before the opening frame was out, the Chiefs went ahead 2-0 when Matt Revel beat Ferguson with a wrist shot from the left circle.

In the second stanza, the Surrey power play came to life. With both Cooper Rush and Tanner Cochrane of the Chiefs in the penalty box, Michael Stenerson beat Chilliwack goalie Mitch Gillam on the door step as he knocked home a rebound of a Demico Hannoun point shot to pull Surrey within one. The Birds would add another power play goal in the third period to tie the game when Stefan Burzan's wrist shot from the top of the left circle was redirected past Gillam by Colton Mackie to even the score at 2-2.

The teams remained deadlocked through 60 minutes, and after five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime hockey solved nothing, the game went to 3-on-3. Best's opportunity came when he broke up a pass at his own blue line, springing himself and Demico Hannoun in on a two-on-one. Best decided to shoot, and beat Gillam on the stick side to lift the Eagles to the victory.

Ferguson picked up his second win in as many games in goal for Surrey, making 27 saves. In his two games played, Ferguson has a 1.89 goals-against-average.

My 3 Stars:
1. Drew Best - Surrey
2. Mitch Gillam - Chilliwack
3. Glenn Ferguson - Surrey

Official 3 Stars:
1. Drew Best - Surrey
2. Beau Orser - Surrey
3. Mitch Gillam - Chilliwack

Game Highlights:

Pre-Game Report: Eagles vs. Chiefs

The Surrey Eagles will host the Chilliwack Chiefs in their home opener tonight at the South Surrey Arena. Make sure to get to the rink early as the pre-game festivities are set to begin at 5pm. The Birds will also unveil their brand new white jerseys prior to this evening's game.

Tonight's game is the first of eight meetings between the two teams this season. In their only match-up last year, Surrey skated away with a 3-2 victory on November 2, 2011 at the Prospera Centre. The last time Chilliwack and Surrey faced each other at the South Surrey Arena in regular season action was on February 24, 2006 when the game finished tied 3-3. After the 2005-2006 season, the Chiefs relocated to Langley for five years before returning to the 'Wack after the departure of the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins.

The Eagles are coming off a 6-1 loss at the hands of the West Kelowna Warriors in their second and final game at the BCHL Showcase last Sunday evening. Surrey sits at 1-1-0-0 on the season after the opening weekend in the valley. The Birds' power play was effective in first game against Powell River but had more trouble gaining traction against the Warriors. Brett Mulcahy has had a strong start to the year for the Eagles with two goals and an assist including a power play marker against his former team on Sunday. 

After scoring the overtime winner in the victory over the Kings a week ago, Demico Hannoun sat out Sunday's game with an undisclosed injury. However, he is expected to be back for the Eagles tonight. Kolten Grieve has been skating with the team this week as he continues to recover from a lower body injury suffered in the pre-season, but he is not expected to suit-up just yet.

The Chiefs are also 1-1-0-0 after opening the showcase with a 2-1 loss to the defending Royal Bank Cup champion Penticton Vees. But Chilliwack bounced back with a 2-1 win of their own over Nanaimo on Saturday night. Alexandre Perron-Fontaine and David Thompson, who are both committed to NCAA schools, currently lead the Chiefs with two points each through 120 minutes of hockey. Goaltender Mitch Gillam played in both games at the showcase for Chilliwack, posting a 1.51 goals-against-average and a .962 save percentage.

Where: South Surrey Arena

When: 7:00pm

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Making The Jump

An NCAA scholarship -- it’s what most BCHLers dream of and the reason many of them play Junior A hockey as opposed to trying to make it big through the WHL. Former Surrey Eagle Brad McGowan knows all about that dream, especially now that it has become a reality for him.

After his final season in the BCHL ended in the spring of 2011, McGowan made the move across the continent to the state of New York to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology, or RIT for short. Following a season where he put up 89 points in 59 games with the Eagles, the style of hockey in the Atlantic Hockey conference was quite a change.

“It’s a lot more structured and a lot more defensive hockey,” said McGowan. “It’s not as high flying as the BCHL. Here it’s more defensive and you have to be in the right place.”

In his freshman year, McGowan put up nine goals and nine assists with the Tigers. One of the biggest adjustments for the Vancouver native was the shorter season in the NCAA. His team only played 37 games, and he featured in every one of them.

“It was different,” he said. “I find that if you’re on a hot streak, it’s harder to stay hot, but if you’re on a cold streak, it’s really easy to stay cold. Games are five or six days apart, so you don’t really feel like you get that momentum.”

The 22-year-old credits Eagles coach Matt Erhart with helping him make the jump to the NCAA. Erhart, who is in his third season as the bench boss in Surrey, played college hockey at Quinnipiac from 1999 to 2003 and kept tabs on McGowan’s progress last year.

“The first semester is always a big adjustment, especially going in as a 21-year-old and starting at school again with a full plate,” said Erhart. “In the second half of the season there, he really took off and found some chemistry with some line mates, and speaking with the coaches there, they’re expecting him to be a big part of their offense in his second year.”

McGowan, who is majoring in business, also expects to have an increased role in his sophomore season and feels that his game has improved over the summer.

“I had a great off-season,” he said. “I really trained hard this year. I skated with a lot of good players too, so it looks like I’ll do a lot better this year. I feel faster as well, so hopefully it will transfer over to the season.”

The Tigers, who finished in fifth in their conference last season, are looking to improve their standing in 2012-2013, and McGowan is primed and ready to help lead them to success. It’s a role that his former junior coach knows he’s capable of filling.

“In the three years I’ve been in Surrey, he had the best skill set of any player that I’ve worked with,” said Erhart. “He’s a player that can make something out of nothing.

“He was one of the most dominant players in the league.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eagles Trade Seldon, Add Gaudet to Roster

For Immediate Release: September 11, 2012

Surrey, B.C. - The Surrey Eagles announced today that defenseman Brett Seldon (94) has been traded to the Coquitlam Express in exchange for future considerations.

Seldon is a native of Thornhill, Ontario and was acquired by the Eagles on August 16th from the North York Rangers of the OJHL. He appeared in a handful of pre-season games for Surrey but was a healthy scratch for both of the Eagles’ games at the BCHL Showcase.

The Eagles would like to wish Brett all the best in his future endeavours.

The hockey club has also added forward Joel Gaudet (94) to its roster. The 18-year-old played in 37 games for the Grandview Steelers of the PIJHL last season, putting up 21 points.

Make sure to get your 2012-2013 Surrey Eagles season tickets and guarantee the best seats to watch exciting Junior A hockey. Visit or call 604-531-GOAL (4625) for more details.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Birds Fall to Warriors

The Surrey Eagles lost their first game of the season, 6-1 at the hands of the West Kelowna Warriors on Sunday evening in Chilliwack. The Warriors got goals from six different players in the win and improved to 2-0 on the season while the Birds fell to 1-1.

Surrey opened the scoring 9:37 into the game when Brett Mulcahy one timed a Michael Stenerson pass into the West Kelowna goal from the high slot. But that was the only goal the Eagles would score. Before the period was out, Jetlan Houcher beat Surrey goaltender Edward Dyson to even the score, and with just 16 seconds remaining in the opening frame, Seb Lloyd received a cross ice pass at the left post and scored his first of the season to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

In the second period, West Kelowna would add two more goals -- both at even strength. At 8:47, Brett McKinnon walked into the slot and tucked the puck past Dyson’s left pad to give the Warriors a two goal lead. Then at 15:01, Max French netted his fourth goal of the young season, firing a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net.

The Eagles got into penalty trouble midway through the third, and the Warriors capitalized on a two man advantage, getting goals from Shawn Hochhausen and Matthew Berry-Lamontagna just 49 seconds apart while Eric Chevrier and Devon Toews looked on from the sin bin.

The Surrey power play, which was a key factor in the win over Powell River on Friday, went 1-for-8 against West Kelowna. The Warriors, for their part, were 2-for-7 with the man advantage.

Tyler Briggs made 29 saves to pick up his second straight victory. At the other end of the ice, Dyson made 28 saves in the loss, allowing all six goals against.

My 3 Stars: 
1. Max French – West Kelowna
2. Brett McKinnon – West Kelowna
3. Shawn Hochhausen – West Kelowna

Official 3 Stars: 
1. Seb Lloyd – West Kelowna
2. Tyler Briggs – West Kelowna
3. Brett McKinnon – West Kelowna

The Eagles next game is Friday, September 14th when they host the Chilliwack Chiefs at the South Surrey Arena. The puck drops at 7pm.

Pre-Game Report: Eagles vs. Warriors

The Surrey Eagles will play their second and final game at the BCHL Showcase this afternoon against the West Kelowna Warriors. The Eagles are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory over the Powell River Kings in their opener while the Warriors won big, 6-0 over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Surrey and West Kelowna only met once last season, on March 9th, when the Warriors defeated the Eagles 4-2 at the South Surrey Arena. The two teams have only faced each other 10 times since 2006. The Warriors have won seven of those games.

Demico Hannoun had the overtime winner for the Birds in their opener. Assistant captains Craig Wyszomirski and Brett Mulcahy also chipped in with goals while Glenn Ferguson picked up the win between the pipes. The Eagles went 2-for-5 on the power play, and only allowed one shorthanded goal on five opportunities.

For West Kelowna, Max French had a big performance in the first game of the season, scoring a hat-trick in the victory over Salmon Arm. Brett McKinnon also had three points, a goal and two assists, while Tyler Briggs made 23 saves for the shutout in his first game in the BCHL.

Edward Dyson will get the start between the pipes for Surrey this afternoon. The 20-year-old played for Dawson Creek of the NAHL last season, posting six wins in 39 games with a 4.27 goals-against-average.

Kolten Grieve will miss his second straight game for Surrey due to injury.

Where: Prospera Centre Rink B, Chilliwack, BC

When: 5:30pm

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eagles Outlast Kings in OT

Demico Hannoun scored the overtime winner on the power play 23 seconds into the first extra period to lift the Surrey Eagles to a 3-2 victory over the Powell River Kings at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.

With Kings defenseman Luke Ripley in the sin bin for holding, Hannoun’s one-timer from the left hash-mark found its way past Powell River goalie Jonah Imoo to give Surrey a measure of revenge against the team that was responsible for their last two playoff exits.

Both teams had to deal with poor ice conditions as the puck was bouncing throughout the game. Surrey went 2-for-5 with the man advantage in the victory while the Kings were 1-for-5. Glenn Ferguson picked up the win in goal for the Birds, stopping 18 shots.

The Eagles fell behind early in the hockey game when J.P. Villenueve opened the scoring for Powell River at the 7:16 mark of the first period, beating Ferguson with a wrist shot from the right circle. But Craig Wyszomirski tied the game for the Birds before the end of the opening frame when he hammered a one-timer into the top corner from the right half-boards.

Surrey would take the lead in the second period after Stefan Burzan’s shot from the slot took a bounce off Brett Mulcahy’s foot and ended up behind Imoo. The Eagles maintained that lead until the late stages of the third period when the Kings tied the game on the power play. With Burzan in the box for tripping, Jarryd Leung danced down the right boards and made a pretty move into the slot, firing a wrist shot past Ferguson. The goal would force the extra period and ultimately earn the Kings a single point in the standings with the overtime loss.

My 3 Stars:
1. Demico Hannoun – Surrey
2. Brett Mulcahy – Surrey
3. Evan Richardson – Powell River

Official 3 Stars: 
1. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
2. Drew Best, Surrey
3. Craig Wyszomirski - Surrey

Full boxscore available here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pre-Game Report: Eagles vs. Kings

The Surrey Eagles open their 2012-2013 season tonight against the Powell River Kings at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. The Eagles had a strong pre-season, going 3-2-1 in six games. However, the Kings were winless in their three exhibition games with a record of 0-2-1.

Tonight’s game brings the Eagles full circle. The Kings eliminated Surrey from the playoffs last year, and Powell River went on to lose to Penticton in the Fred Page Cup final. In fact, Surrey’s playoff dreams have ended at the hands of the Kings two seasons in a row. Due to the newly changed BCHL schedule, the Eagles and Kings will only face each other three times this season – a big change for two teams that played each other 13 times over the course of the 2011-2012 season and playoffs.

Surrey will be without injured forward Kolten Grieve for the opening game of the season while Brandan Smith is doubtful for Powell River. The Kings will also be without Teal Burns who was suspended after failing to report to the team at the beginning of the season.

Glenn Ferguson will start in goal for the Eagles. The 18-year-old Surrey native had a strong pre-season for the Birds including a shutout against the Langley Rivermen on August 24th.

Former Vancouver Canuck Peter Schafer will make his regular season debut behind the bench as an assistant coach with the Eagles.

Where: Prospera Centre: Rink B, Chilliwack, BC

When: 7pm puck drop

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How to watch:

Eagles Release Roster for BCHL Showcase

For immediate release: September 7, 2012

This afternoon, the Surrey Eagles Hockey Club released its roster for the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. Find the full roster below:

#5 Harlan Orr (1995, Vernon, BC)
#7 Stefan Burzan (1994, Surrey, BC)
#9 Trevor Cameron (1992, Mission, BC)
#10 Brett Mulcahy (1993, Kelowna, BC, Assistant Captain)
#12 Michael Stenerson (1993, Surrey, BC)
#13 Drew Best (1994, Plymouth, MI)
#14 Colton Mackie (1993, Surrey, BC)
#16 Kevan Kilistoff (1995, Langley, BC)
#18 Demico Hannoun (1995, North Delta, BC)
#20 Nicolas Pierog (1993, Georgetown, ON)
#86 Chris Tracy (1992, Marlton, NJ)
#89 Brandon Morley (1994, Burnaby, BC, Captain)

Kolten Grieve (1994, Mission, BC) **Currently injured. Still with team.

#4 Dan O’Keefe (1994, Wall, NJ)
#6 Devon Toews (1994, Abbotsford, BC)
#11 Jordan Klimek (1995, Langley, BC)
#15 Austen Bietenbeck (1995, Langley, BC)
#17 Craig Wyszomirski (1992, Mahwah, NJ, Assistant Captain)
#21 Beau Orser (1992, Penetang, ON, Assistant Captain)
#22 Eric Chevrier (1993, South Cayuga, ON)
#24 Brett Seldon (1994, Thornhill, ON)

#1 Edward Dyson (1992, Port Alberni, BC)
#35 Glenn Ferguson (1994, Surrey, BC)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eagles Name Morley Captain

For immediate release: September 6, 2012

Surrey, B.C. - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that Brandon Morley has been named team captain for the 2012-2013 season.

Morley is entering his third BCHL season. He was named the team’s rookie of the year in 2010-2011 and put up 47 points in 49 games last season, helping the Eagles to a spot in the Coastal Conference final. The Burnaby native will follow in the footsteps of his older brother Tyler, who captained the Eagles for two seasons and is now playing NCAA hockey at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“Despite the fact that he’s an 18-year-old, Brandon has a lot of experience,” said Eagles head coach and GM Matt Erhart. “He’s played two years in the league. He’s been to two conference finals, and he played in the World Junior A Challenge last year. He’s a guy that comes to work every single day at practice, and he has a strong work ethic that other guys can look up to.”

Joining Morley to form the team’s leadership group are Beau Orser, Brett Mulcahy and Craig Wyszomirski, who have all been named assistant captains.

“They’ve all been chosen because they each lead in a different way,” said Eagles assistant coach Peter Schaefer. “Whether it’s because of their work ethic, experiences or being vocal in the room, they will all lead in a different and positive way.”

Orser came to Surrey after he was acquired from the OJHL midway through the 2010-2011 season. The 20-year-old blue-liner from Penetang, Ontario played in 51 games last season for the Eagles scoring 10 points. Mulcahy is back for his second season in Surrey. The hard working forward finished with 19 points last year. Wyszomirski is entering his first BCHL season. The 20-year-old defenseman from Mahwah, New Jersey spent last year with Providence College in the NCAA.

The Eagles open the 2012-2013 season on Friday, September 7th against the Powell River Kings at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. Puck drop is at 7pm.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Matt Erhart Show: Season Preview

Throughout the season, I'll sit down with head coach and GM Matt Erhart once a week, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday, for The Matt Erhart Show. Matt and I will recap the previous weekend's action, chat about any issues or news items surrounding the Eagles and preview any upcoming games.

In the first edition of the show we looked back on training camp and the pre-season, broke down the strengths of the Eagles roster heading into the start of the regular season, and looked ahead to the upcoming BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.

Three's Company

Left to right: Mackie, Stenerson, Morley.
Roster turnover is an accepted reality for a BCHL team. Whether it’s due to young stars leaving for opportunities in college hockey, or 20-year-old players graduating from the league, a team rarely looks the same two years in a row. This season is no different for the Surrey Eagles, but there are a handful of familiar faces returning to don the blue, white and green – most notably Brandon Morley, Michael Stenerson and Colton Mackie.

The three forwards are all entering their third full season with the Eagles, and they are the only current players who have played in Surrey for that length of time.

Head Coach and General Manager Matt Erhart has guided the three youngsters through their first two years of junior hockey, and he expects the trio to grow into the team’s core leaders this season.

“They’ve spent a couple of years here underneath a pretty good group of leaders,” said Erhart. “Now those guys have moved on, and the team falls on their shoulders, and it’s up to them to take charge of it.”

Morley, a native of Burnaby, broke into the league at the age of 16 playing alongside his older brother Tyler. But with Tyler gone to Alaska on an NCAA scholarship, Morley now finds himself a major part of the team’s leadership group.

“Now that it’s your third year you realize that guys are starting to look up to you,” said Morley. “Hopefully I can help as much as I can and take my experience and pass it on.”

The 18-year-old is looking forward to taking on this new challenge with Stenerson and Mackie.

“They’re both great character guys so they’re going to help lead this team,” said Morley. “It’s nice having the same guys that you’ve been with for the last two seasons coming back for a third season.”

While the trio has played together for the last two years, the connection between Mackie and Stenerson goes back much further. Both players grew up in Surrey and played on the same teams throughout minor hockey.

“I’ve been playing with Mackie since I was 10 or 11 years old,” said Stenerson. “We became pretty good friends, and we’ve played together on pretty well every team ever since.”

While the two forwards don’t usually play on the same line, the friendship they share helped them make the initial jump to junior hockey together, and they hope the same will apply as they take on increased responsibility with the Eagles this year – an opportunity they are both relishing.

“The returning guys, we definitely have to step up, and we’ll have bigger roles to fill,” said Mackie. “I’m looking to get a little more vocal in the dressing room and have a little more say in some things, so it’s definitely a role that I’m excited to take on.”

“This year, I realize what it takes to win and battle,” said Stenerson. “I think I can help out the younger guys with being in those situations like I was in my first year.”

The Eagles have high expectations for the 2012-2013 season, and Morley, Mackie and Stenerson are hoping to be a part of something special in Surrey this year.

“I think we can go all the way,” said Mackie. “The way it’s shaping up, we’re going to take one game at a time, but the goal is to win a championship.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Coaching To Win

At the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season, Surrey Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Matt Erhart was named the Coastal Conference’s winner of the Joe Tennant Memorial Trophy as coach of the year in just his second season as the Eagles’ bench boss.

The coaches of the league vote on the award, and it’s handed out annually to the best coach in each of the BCHL’s two conferences. While it’s an honour that Erhart is proud of, he acknowledges that he didn’t do it alone.

“It’s not just one coach,” said Erhart. “It’s a collection of guys working together. And then it’s obviously having the right players that can buy into the system that you want to coach and guys that play hard.

“It’s really a team award.”

Nonetheless, the Eagles players appreciate having Erhart behind the bench, and as a former player himself, he understands what it takes to have success at the Junior A level. He was a defenseman on the Eagles team that won the Royal Bank Cup as Canada’s Junior A champions in 1998.

“He’s been there. He’s done it all,” said Surrey forward Brandon Morley. “He knows what it takes to get there, and he’s passing that on to us.

“He’s been a great coach these past two years. He’s taken on this franchise and done a very good job of it.”

For Erhart, his experience as a player in the BCHL pays off when it comes to deciding which players will help lead the current edition of the Eagles.

“I think you see what it takes to win,” said Erhart. “It’s about knowing what types of players it takes and what types of personalities it takes to mesh a junior hockey team together to be not just a talented group, but guys that can work together.”

While winning is important to Erhart, he also wants to help his players follow the same path that he did after junior hockey. Following his time with the Eagles, the Delta native attended Quinnipiac University in Connecticut and played four seasons for the Bobcats, tallying 104 points in 146 games on the blue line.

“We had 13 NCAA commitments last year which I think is the most ever in Surrey Eagles history, and it was second in the whole BCHL,” said Erhart. “I consider that a success too, tying the two together, having a pretty good on ice product as well as the off ice product and moving players on to the next level.”

As a result, Erhart’s players are confident with him behind the bench, knowing that they have a coach that is striving for team success while helping them achieve their personal goals in the game of hockey.

“Matt’s a great coach,” said Eagles forward Colton Mackie. “He’s very organized, very fair. He’s exactly the type of guy you need behind you when you’re trying to string together some wins and go for the title.

“I’m glad that I have the opportunity to play under him.”

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Go Pro Video Highlights

Courtesy of team photographers Damon and Garrett James, the Eagles will have HD video highlights of home games this season using Go Pro cameras mounted atop the glass behind each goal.

Here's a sneak peek at what they'll look like with clips from Surrey's 3-1 pre-season win over Chilliwack on August 31st.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Eagles on TEAM1040

On Friday, the BCHL announced that it has renewed its deal with TEAM1040. Vancouver's #1 all sports radio station will carry 12 BCHL games this coming season, five of which feature the Eagles.

Here's the press release from the league along with the full schedule of games:

"The British Columbia Hockey league is pleased to announce it has renewed a partnership with TEAM1040 for the coming season and will again have 12 games broadcast across the station’s radio network. 

“Blake Price, Jeff Paterson and Matt Baker have done phenomenal work on our games the last few seasons so we’re thrilled to be on TEAM1040 again,” said BCHL communications director Brent Mutis. “The quality of coverage we’ve had on TEAM1040 is outstanding and we’re proud to have them as a supporter of our league.” 

The TEAM1040 broadcast schedule for 2012-13 is as follows: 

Friday, Sept. 14 Langley Rivermen @ Coquitlam Express 
Sunday, Sept. 23 Alberni Valley Bulldogs @ Surrey Eagles 
Saturday, Oct. 6 Coquitlam Express @ Chilliwack Chiefs 
Sunday, Oct. 21 Trail Smoke Eaters @ Surrey Eagles 
Saturday, Oct. 27 Surrey Eagles @ Langley Rivermen 
Friday, Nov. 2 Prince George Spruce Kings @ Langley Rivermen 
Friday, Nov. 23 West Kelowna Warriors @ Coquitlam Express 
Friday, Jan. 11 Merritt Centennials @ Coquitlam Express 
Sunday, Jan. 13 Surrey Eagles @ Langley Rivermen 
Sunday, Jan. 27 Salmon Arm SilverBacks @ Surrey Eagles 
Sunday, Feb. 10 Alberni Valley Bulldogs @ Chilliwack Chiefs 
Saturday, Feb. 23 Prince George Spruce Kings @ Chilliwack Chiefs. 

In addition to the broadcasts, there will also be weekly BCHL Player of the Week reports and feature interviews Tuesdays during Matt Sekeres’ mid-day show. 

The BCHL regular season officially begins in Chilliwack with the BCHL Showcase presented by Save-On-Foods. The event runs Sept. 7 to 9 at Prospera Centre."