Saturday, January 26, 2013

Depleted Birds Defeat Rivermen

Despite being without their two top scorers, the Surrey Eagles won 3-1 over the Langley Rivermen on Saturday evening at the South Surrey Arena. The win was the second in a row for the Birds who were forced to play without both Brady Shaw and Adam Tambellini due to injuries.

The Rivermen had a strong start to the game and James Robinson had a good chance to put his team ahead when the puck came to him at the top of the Surrey crease, but Michael Santaguida was able to get the paddle of his stick down on the ice to stop the Langley forward and keep the game scoreless. Minutes later, Nic Pierog would open the scoring for Surrey when he knocked the rebound of a Brett Mulcahy shot into the Langley net while the Eagles were on the penalty kill. The goal was Pierog's seventh of the year and only the second short handed goal for the Birds this season.

Langley tied the game at 12:16 of the second period after Trevor Cope deflected a Nathan Craft shot that was going wide of the net past Santaguida. The goal came with the man advantage for the Rivermen, but the Eagles responded with a power play goal of their own in the final minute of the stanza when Devon Toews fired the puck at Langley goaltender James Barr and Kevan Kilistoff pounced on the rebound to give Surrey an important 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.

The Eagles controlled the game for much of the third and found their insurance marker with less than seven minutes remaining after a bad giveaway by Jakob Reichert in his own zone landed right on Kilistoff's stick in the slot. The Surrey forward got a shot away before Trevor Cameron poked the puck across the goal line to put the Birds up by two. After Surrey's third goal, Langley got into penalty trouble taking a pair of minor penalties in the final five minutes of the game, allowing the Eagles to cruise to the win.

Surrey went 1-for-6 with the man advantage while the Rivermen were 1-for-2. The Eagles out shot Langley 39-31. Michael Santaguida made 30 stops for his 21st win of the year. Surrey moved back into first place in the Mainland Division after the victory due to the fact that the Chilliwack Chiefs lost to Salmon Arm on Saturday night as well.

On a more negative note, forward William Clark left the game after finding himself on the receiving end of a huge hit from Langley forward Marco Romano.

The Birds will play their third game in as many days on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for their lone visit to the South Surrey Arena this season. The puck drop will be at 4:00pm.

Official 3 Stars:
1. Brett Mulcahy - Surrey
2. Nic Pierog - Surrey
3. Devon Toews - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Nic Pierog - Surrey
2. Kevan Kilistoff - Surrey
3. Craig Wyszomirski - Surrey

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