Saturday, March 23, 2013

Birds Outgun Chiefs in Game 1

Demico Hannoun scored twice and Michael Santaguida made 35 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs as the Surrey Eagles blanked the Chilliwack Chiefs 4-0 on Friday night at the South Surrey Arena to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Mainland Division Final.

The Birds scored all of their goals in the opening frame. The first marker came just 46 seconds into the game when Michael Stenerson made a nice pass to Brady Shaw on an odd-man rush, and Shaw deked around Chilliwack backstop Mitch Gillam to pick up his third of the post-season. Hannoun extended the lead moments later with a hard wrist shot from the right circle that went off the underside of the cross-bar and into the net. Trevor Cameron put his name on the score sheet in the second half of the period when he beat Gillam with a shot through a screen off the rush, and Hannoun tallied his second of the game in the last minute of the first, completing a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that also involved Shaw and Adam Tambellini.

Chilliwack put the Eagles under some pressure in the early stages of the second, and Santaguida had to make a couple of big saves -- most notably stopping Ryan Donohoe from close range. Josh Hansen had the Chiefs' best scoring chance of the stanza when he fired a shot off the post from the right wing. Surrey captain Brett Mulcahy had an opportunity to extend the Eagle lead late in the period when he was sprung in on a breakaway, but Gillam stretched out his right pad to keep the puck out.

The Chiefs had a handful of chances to get on the board in the third, but Santaguida was strong and steady between the pipes. Chilliwack's best opportunity to find a goal came when Phil Zielonka got the puck in the slot with Santaguida down and out, but the Chiefs forward rung the puck off the iron. The visitors got into some penalty trouble in the third, giving Surrey four power plays in the final frame, and while the Birds didn't score on the man advantage, they were able to run the clock down and skate away with the win.

The Eagles had nine power plays on the evening but were unable to convert while Chilliwack went 0-for-2. The Chiefs out shot Surrey 35-24 in a losing cause. The two teams will get right back at it with Game 2 on Saturday night at the South Surrey Arena. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
3. Brady Shaw - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Demico Hannoun - Surrey
2. Brady Shaw - Surrey
3. Michael Santaguida - Surrey

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