Saturday, April 13, 2013

Santaguida Stymies Vees

Michael Santaguida stole the show at the South Surrey Arena on Saturday night. The Mississauga, Ontario native made 50 saves between the pipes for the Surrey Eagles to pick up his fourth shutout of the playoffs, leading the Birds to a 2-0 win over the Penticton Vees in Game 2 of the Fred Page Cup Final. Surrey now holds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Vees had a strong start to the hockey game, eager to get back on even footing after dropping the opening game of the series on Friday. Santaguida made a pair of nice stops on Ryan Gropp in the first to keep the Vees out, and Surrey got on the board just after the midway mark of the period when Demico Hannoun scored during a five-on-three advantage for the Eagles with a hard snap shot from the left face-off circle.

Surrey doubled the lead in the late stages of the second when Adam Tambellini made a nice deke through the middle of the ice, avoided a check from Thomas Nitsche, and found Nic Pierog down the right wing. Pierog wired a wrist shot past Penticton keeper Chad Katunar to double the Surrey lead. The Vees poured on the pressure in the final minute of the frame with a number of great chances after a frantic goalmouth scramble, but Santaguida managed to keep the puck out of the net.

Penticton carried the majority of the play in the third and put the Birds under relentless pressure at times. The Surrey defence bent but didn't break. Santaguida made a couple of gigantic stops in the third. His best save of the night came when Brad McClure pounced on a rebound and looked to have nearly scored, but Santaguida stretched the paddle of his stick across the goal line to make a remarkable stop. The Vees pulled the goalie near the end of the game and generated some good opportunities, but Santaguida turned aside everything he saw, and the Eagles skated away with the win.

The Birds were 1-for-4 on the man advantage while Penticton went 0-for-4. The Vees out shot Surrey 50-30 in a losing cause.

The series now shifts to Penticton for Game 3 and Game 4 on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Chad Katunar - Penticton
3. Nic Pierog - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Santaguida - Surrey
2. Devon Toews - Surrey
3. Nic Pierog - Surrey

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