Saturday, December 29, 2012

Santaguida Shuts Out Chiefs

Michael Santaguida made 41 saves for his first BCHL shutout and the first shutout of the year for the Surrey Eagles in a 3-0 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday night. The win was Surrey's second against Chilliwack in as many nights. The season series between the two teams now sits even at 3-2-0-1 for each team.

The goaltending was the story of the game as both Santaguida and Chilliwack goalie Mitch Gillam stopped every shot they faced through 40 minutes, despite high quality scoring chances for both teams. Chilliwack had the majority of the opportunities in the first two periods, out shooting the Birds 33-29.

The best chance of the game for the Chiefs came early in the third when Austin Plevy was left all alone at the right post with the puck loose in the crease, but the Chilliwack forward couldn't get his stick on the puck, and Surrey captain Brett Mulcahy cleared the rebound, leaving Plevy on the ice with his face in his hands.

The Eagles broke the deadlock at 5:24 of the third when Nic Pierog sprung Devon Toews down the right wing with a stretch pass. Toews fired a shot on goal, and Gillam let the rebound out into the slot where Trevor Cameron was ready and waiting to knock it into the open net.

After the Surrey goal, the Chiefs amped up the pressure, trying to find an equalizer, but Santaguida was equal to the task. The Birds extended the lead with under five minutes remaining when Brady Shaw picked up the puck in the slot after a bad turnover at the Chilliwack line and danced around a defender before deking to the forehand. On Shaw's initial shot, Gillam made a beautiful save with his right pad, but the Surrey forward persistently hammered the rebound into the net, giving the Eagles the insurance they needed.

Michael Stenerson would seal the victory with 1:26 remaining, scoring his tenth goal of the year into an empty net.

All three of Surrey's goals came at even strength as the Birds went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Chiefs were 0-for-5. New addition Troy Paterson played his first game in an Eagles uniform wearing #15.

The Eagles will wrap up their weekend with a matinee game on Sunday against the Coquitlam Express. The puck drops at 2:00pm at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex.

Official 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Austin Plevy - Chilliwack
3. Mitch Gillam - Chilliwack

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Trevor Cameron - Surrey
3. Mitch Gillam - Chilliwack

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