Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tambellini Goes to the Rangers

For immediate release: June 30, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that forward Adam Tambellini has been selected in the third round of today's NHL Entry Draft in Newark, New Jersey by the New York Rangers with the 65th overall pick.

"It's very exciting as an organization when you have a player drafted," said Eagles President, General Manager and Head Coach Peter Schaefer. "Adam had a great year personally and a great year for us as a team. We're all incredibly excited for him to be going to the Big Apple. To play in New York City at Madison Square Garden will be really special for him, and I'm sure he's going to have a great career with the Rangers."

Tambellini joined the Eagles at the BCHL trade deadline this past January and was a key part of Surrey's run to the Fred Page Cup, Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup Semi-Final. In his 16 regular season games in Surrey, Tambellini tallied an impressive 14 goals and 12 assists. He continued his strong play throughout Surrey's post-season run, putting up 28 points in 27 games. To cap off his playoff performance, Tambellini was named the Top Forward at the RBC Cup in Summerside, PEI last month. The 18-year-old is set to attend the University of North Dakota in the fall.

The Eagles would like to congratulate Tambellini on this impressive accomplishment.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Eagles Partner With Semiahmoo Minor Hockey

For immediate release: June 27, 2013

Ian Maguire of SMHA and Peter Schaefer
Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that the team is joining together in a partnership with the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association.

The agreement will feature many benefits for both the Birds and SMHA. Eagles players will mentor minor hockey teams during the upcoming season and participate in their practices while Peter Schaefer and the Eagles' coaching staff will mentor and host clinics.

"We're excited as an organization to be partnering with Semiahmoo Minor Hockey and becoming more involved in the community," said Eagles President, General Manager and Head Coach Peter Schaefer. "With 1,000 members in the minor hockey association, our players and staff are looking forward to working with the SMHA to help impact the lives of these young hockey players in a positive way."

Off the ice, the two organizations will co-host fundraising events while both sides will also have the chance to enter into joint sponsorship opportunities. In addition, the Eagles will provide all members of the minor hockey association with a 25 per cent discount on season tickets, and the SMHA will receive 25 per cent of the revenue from every season ticket sold to one of its members.

"Semiahmoo Minor Hockey is delighted to be partnering with the Surrey Eagles this coming season," said SMHA President Ian Maguire. "This is a natural partnership within our community and provides an ideal avenue for our budding hockey stars to interact and learn from the best hockey talent in our community. We look forward to working closely with Peter Schaefer and the entire Surrey Eagles organization."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Eagles 2013-2014 Schedule Released

The BCHL released its schedule for the 2013-2014 regular season on Monday, and I just wanted to post a couple of quick thoughts on some key games for the Eagles in the upcoming season.

After the two games at the Showcase in Chilliwack against West Kelowna and Vernon on September 6th and 7th, the Birds will open up at home on September 13th against the Langley Rivermen. This will also mark the night that the Eagles raise their Fred Page Cup and Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup banners and look back on the success of the 2012-2013 campaign for one last time. Definitely a date to circle on your calendar.

While the Birds didn't have to make an out-of-town trip until the middle of October last year, the Surrey club will get over to the island just two weeks into the season as they'll visit Alberni Valley for a rematch of the Coastal Conference Final on September 21st before playing in Duncan against the Cowichan Valley Capitals the next night.

We already knew that the Birds would face the Vernon Vipers at the BCHL Showcase, but a weird scheduling quirk has the out-of-conference opponents going head-to-head three times in the first month of the season as the Eagles will have a home-and-home series with the 2014 RBC Cup hosts on September 27th and 28th.

This year, the BCHL decided to add two games to its schedule, meaning the Birds will play a total of 58 games. Those two extra games will be made up of divisional match-ups. Much like last year, Surrey will play each of its divisional opponents eight times with the exception of the Chilliwack Chiefs and Coquitlam Express who they will play nine times each. The Express will visit the South Surrey Arena five times while the Birds will head to Chilliwack five times. However, Surrey won't get a crack at its big rival from the valley until October 26th at Prospera Centre. The Chiefs will make their first visit to Surrey on November 8th.

We'll have to wait until December to get a rematch of the Fred Page Cup Final as the Eagles will return to the South Okanagan Events Centre for the first time since Adam Tambellini's double overtime winner in Game 6 on December 7th to face Penticton. The Vees will make their lone trip to the SSA on February 8th.

Surrey will conclude the regular season with a three-game Island Division road trip when they'll visit Powell River, Nanaimo and Victoria on February 21st, 22nd and 23rd respectively.

The Eagles' longest stretch of games away from home comes in late November and early December when they'll visit Coquitlam, West Kelowna, Penticton and Langley consecutively.

Surrey's longest home stand -- also four games -- will be split up by the December break with the Eagles hosting Nanaimo, Coquitlam and Prince George before Christmas before returning after the holidays to play Chilliwack on December 28th.

See the full Eagles schedule by clicking here.

See the BCHL's Press Release by clicking here.

Erhart to Giants; Schaefer Named Head Coach and GM

For immediate release: June 24, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club announced on Monday that Matt Erhart will not be returning as the Head Coach and General Manager of the hockey club as he will join the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League as an Assistant Coach. With Erhart's departure, the Eagles are pleased to announce that President Peter Schaefer will take over the roles of General Manager and Head Coach.

"We're happy for Matt," said Eagles majority owner Chuck Westgard. "He wants to further his coaching career, and this is a great opportunity that he couldn't turn down. We're sad to lose him as he's been fabulous over the past few years, but at the same time, we're very confident with Peter taking over. He showed this year that he's passionate about coaching, and we're excited to have him as our Head Coach and General Manager for the upcoming season."

During his three years as bench boss of the Birds, Erhart compiled an impressive record of 106-50-6-14. In each year during his tenure, the Eagles won a minimum of 35 games in the regular season and made it at least as far as the Conference Final in the playoffs. After the 2011-2012 season, Erhart was named the Coastal Conference winner of the Joe Tennant Memorial Trophy as coach of the year. The Delta native, who won an RBC Cup as a player with the Eagles in 1998, came within two wins of replicating the feat as a coach when he led the 2012-2013 edition of the team to a semi-final berth at the national championship tournament after winning the BCHL's Fred Page Cup and the first ever Western Canada Cup.

"It's a bittersweet day when you have to leave a program that you've been a part of as a player and a coach," said Erhart. "The Eagles gave me a great opportunity to be a Head Coach and General Manager in the BCHL, and I'll always be thankful for that. With the Giants, it's a chance to further my coaching career, and I couldn't pass it up. It was a pleasure to work with the coaches over the past three seasons in Surrey, and I'm very excited that Peter will be taking over as Head Coach and GM. He'll do an excellent job with the returning players and recruits going forward."

After a lengthy playing career in the professional ranks that included NHL stops in Vancouver, Ottawa and Boston, Schaefer joined the Eagles as an Assistant Coach at the start of the 2012-2013 season. Following Surrey's run to the semi-final at the RBC Cup, the Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan native was named the President of the team and is looking forward to taking over for Erhart behind the bench.

"I'm excited," said Schaefer. "I learned a lot from Matt this past year, and we had a long and successful season. Now I'll have to take that knowledge and apply it going forward. With Matt moving on, I'm looking forward to working with the returning veterans and the up-and-coming new recruits."

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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ammann Joins Eagles

For immediate release: June 20, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that Grant Ammann has been hired as the team's Athletic Therapist and Equipment Manager. The Aldergrove native comes to the Birds after working for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.

"Grant is a really qualified individual in his field," said Eagles President Peter Schaefer. "He's also got some personal training experience under his belt which will be a huge benefit to the team going forward, and we're excited to have him as a part of our hockey club."

Ammann joined the Wheat Kings in 2010 as the team's Athletic Therapist. Prior to that, he spent time at the Performance Institute as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has also worked for the BCHL's Burnaby Express, the gold medal winning Team BC at the 2011 Canada Winter Games and Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The Eagles would like to welcome Ammann to the organization.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cameron to Attend SAIT

For immediate release: June 18, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that forward Trevor Cameron has committed to attend the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, beginning in the 2013-2014 season.

SAIT is located in Calgary. The Trojans play in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and are coming off a berth in the championship final where they lost to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

"I flew over there and met the coach, Ken Babey, and he's a really good guy and a knowledgeable hockey coach," said Cameron. "I'm really excited to go to school and get on with my life."

Cameron came to Surrey in a trade from the Notre Dame Hounds of the SJHL in December of 2011. In his time with the Eagles, the Mission native put up 52 points in 84 regular season games. He was also a key contributor for the Birds in their run to the RBC Cup semi-final, tallying 20 points in 27 post-season games in 2013.

"We're very proud of Trevor for taking the next step in his hockey career," said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Matt Erhart. "He was a tireless worker with the Eagles and was one of our leaders this past year. As his numbers proved throughout the playoffs, he was a key part of our run, and we're glad that he's going to a good hockey program at SAIT."

Cameron becomes the 13th member of the 2012-2013 Surrey Eagles to commit to play college hockey, joining Devon Toews (Quinnipiac, 2013), Michael Santaguida (Vermont, 2013), Craig Wyszomirski (Merrimack, 2013), Adam Tambellini (North Dakota, 2013), Brady Shaw (Vermont, 2013), Dan O'Keefe (Yale, 2013), Michael Stenerson (Vermont, 2013), Troy Paterson (UW-Eau Claire DIII, 2013) Brett Mulcahy (Holy Cross, 2014), Drew Best (Vermont, 2014), Demico Hannoun (Michigan Tech, 2014) and Jordan Klimek (Northern Michigan, 2014).

The Eagles would like to congratulate Cameron on his accomplishment.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Eagles Ink Trio of Forwards

For immediate release: June 13, 2013

Left to right: Ryan Simpson, Danton Heinen, Dylan Plitt
Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that forwards Dylan Plitt (1994), Danton Heinen (1995) and Ryan Simpson (1996) have committed to play for the team, beginning in the 2013-2014 season.

"The organization is very excited to add three highly sought after prospects to the Eagles program," said Head Coach and GM Matt Erhart. "Each player brings their own unique skill set, and all three are going to be key contributors for the team going forward."

Plitt comes to the Eagles from Team Comcast U18 where he had 10 goals and 22 assists in 39 games last year. The native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has already committed to attend the University of Vermont and will eventually join former Surrey standouts Brady Shaw, Michael Stenerson and Michael Santaguida along with current Birds forward Drew Best on the Catamounts.

"I'm really looking forward to playing for the Eagles," said Plitt. "I've heard nothing but good things about the coaching staff, and I'm hoping I can help the team out and hopefully win another championship."

Heinen was a key part of the Richmond Sockeyes' run to the Keystone Cup last season. A Langley native, he finished 11th in PIJHL scoring in the regular season, putting up an impressive 21 goals and 28 assists in 49 games. The 17-year-old continued his strong play in the playoffs, scoring 29 points in 25 post-season games as the Sockeyes won the Western Canadian Junior B Championship. He also appeared in two games for the Merritt Centennials last year.

"I've heard a lot of good things about the Eagles," said Heinen. "They seem like a great organization, and I think playing in Surrey will be a great fit for me. They know how to win, and I'm really excited for training camp."

Simpson, who hails from Abbotsford but spent part of his childhood in White Rock, split the 2012-2013 season with the BCHL's Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the PIJHL's Aldergrove Kodiaks. The 17-year-old had one point in 16 games with the 'Backs while tallying four goals and 10 assists in 16 games in Aldergrove.

"I'm really excited," said Simpson of joining the Birds. "They've got a great coaching staff that's had success and a good ownership group. Obviously they just won the BCHL title, and I grew up in White Rock, so I'm looking forward to it."

The Eagles would like to welcome Plitt, Heinen and Simpson to the organization.


The BCHL announced a couple of changes coming out of its Board of Governors meetings in Richmond last week. Most notably, the regular season will be expanded to 58 games for 2013-2014.

Here's the press release from the league:

The British Columbia Hockey League completed its 2013 annual general meeting last week in Richmond with a number of changes made to the administration of the league moving forward.

First, the league will conduct a 58-game season in 2013-14. Each club will play two games that count in the standings at the Bauer BCHL Showcase Sept. 6 to 8 in Chilliwack and then play 28 home and 28 away dates to complete the regular season.

There is currently no playoff structure that has been agreed upon for the upcoming campaign. Teams are being asked to submit their ideas and a format will be announced prior to the Showcase.

Second, the BCHL has changed its media policy surrounding the Jan. 10 roster deadline. For any given transaction, teams will be allowed to release information to media as soon as they have made the league office aware that all players involved in that transaction have been notified.

Third, with the BCHL signing an equipment agreement with Bauer, all players must use the Bauer Supreme Team Stick. Failure to comply will result in severe financial penalties to the club. These will escalate with repeat offences. For protective gear, teams are allowed to use up remaining new equipment from previous seasons with the understanding that future orders will be made through Bauer.

Finally, NHL linesman Brad Lazarowich has officially joined the league’s officiating program as the associate director of officiating to head director Derek Adams. Lazarowich was able to monitor and provide mentorship to young officials last season during the NHL lockout and will continue to be a resource to the BCHL in developing the officiating program.

The BCHL regular season schedule was formed tentatively among the coaches and governors at the AGM; as there are several dates that need to be rearranged between teams, the league hopes to have the final schedule out before the end of June.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Paterson Commits to UW-Eau Claire

For immediate release: June 11, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that defenceman Troy Paterson has committed to attend the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, beginning in the 2013-2014 season.

The 20-year-old blue liner was acquired by the Birds from the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the BCHL Trade Deadline in early January, but his year was cut short in just his second game in a Surrey uniform when he suffered a season ending lower body injury. In his final year of junior hockey, Paterson posted four goals and nine assists in 29 games.

"We are very excited as an organization to see Troy take the next step in his hockey career," said Eagles Head Coach and GM Matt Erhart. "Unfortunately he only played two games for us this year, but after seeing him play over four years in the BCHL, I know he's very deserving of the opportunity to continue his hockey career at a great program like Wisconsin Eau Claire."

The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire is located in the city of Eau Claire. The Blugolds play in the NCAA's Division III Northern Collegiate Hockey Association and are coming off a national championship victory.

"They showed a lot of interest in me for an extended period of time," said Paterson of UW-Eau Claire. "Obviously, looking at their history and the success they've had last season and in the past, it was a big contributing factor."

Paterson becomes the 12th member of the 2012-2013 Surrey Eagles to commit to play college hockey, joining Devon Toews (Quinnipiac, 2013), Michael Santaguida (Vermont, 2013), Craig Wyszomirski (Merrimack, 2013), Adam Tambellini (North Dakota, 2013), Brady Shaw (Vermont, 2013), Dan O'Keefe (Yale, 2013), Michael Stenerson (Vermont, 2013), Brett Mulcahy (Holy Cross, 2014), Drew Best (Vermont, 2014), Demico Hannoun (Michigan Tech, 2014) and Jordan Klimek (Northern Michigan, 2014).

The Eagles would like to congratulate Paterson on his accomplishment.

Monday, June 10, 2013

BCHL Showcase Schedule Released

The BCHL released the schedule for the Bauer BCHL Showcase which will kick-off the 2013-2014 season in Chilliwack this coming September.

The Eagles will start their season on Friday, September 6th with a match-up against the West Kelowna Warriors at 7:30pm. This will mark the second straight year that the Warriors and Eagles will play each other at the showcase. Surrey will then have a quick turnaround and play next year's RBC Cup hosts, the Vernon Vipers, at 11:30am on Saturday, September 7th.

Here's the full release from the BCHL:

The BCHL has finalized the schedule for September's Bauer BCHL Showcase, being hosted for the second consecutive year at Chilliwack's Prospera Centre.

The Showcase schedule was an item on the recent BCHL annual general meeting last week in Richmond.

Each club will play two games that count towards the regular season standings. Last year at the inaugural event, there were close to 200 scouts from the college and professional ranks taking in the action.

The 2013 event runs from Friday, Sept. 6 to Sunday, Sept. 8. Games will be split between Prospera Centre's main and secondary sheets of ice.

Bauer Showcase Schedule (home team listed second in each matchup):

Friday, Sept. 6:

3:30 p.m. - Secondary Rink - Penticton Vees vs. Victoria Grizzlies
4:00 p.m. - Main Rink - Merritt Centennials vs. Coquitlam Express
7:00 p.m. - Secondary Rink - Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Langley Rivermen
7:30 p.m. - Main Rink - Surrey Eagles vs. West Kelowna Warriors

Saturday, Sept. 7:

11:30 a.m. - Secondary Rink - Vernon Vipers vs. Surrey Eagles
12:00 p.m. - Main Rink - Victoria Grizzlies vs. Salmon Arm SilverBacks
3:00 p.m. - Secondary Rink - West Kelowna Warriors vs. Nanaimo Clippers
3:30 p.m. - Main Rink - Alberni Valley Bulldogs vs. Penticton Vees
6:30 p.m. - Secondary Rink - Prince George Spruce Kings vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals
7:00 p.m. - Main Rink - Powell River Kings vs. Chilliwack Chiefs

Sunday, Sept. 8:

10:30 a.m. - Secondary Rink - Salmon Arm SilverBacks vs. Powell River Kings
11:00 a.m. - Main Rink - Coquitlam Express vs. Alberni Valley Bulldogs
2:00 p.m. - Secondary Rink - Nanaimo Clippers vs. Prince George Spruce Kings
2:30 p.m. - Main Rink - Cowichan Valley Capitals vs. Trail Smoke Eaters
5:30 p.m. - Secondary Rink - Langley Rivermen vs. Merritt Centennials
6:00 p.m. - Main Rink - Chilliwack Chiefs. vs. Vernon Vipers

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shaw Commits to Catamounts

For immediate release: June 6, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is pleased to announce that 20-year-old forward Brady Shaw has committed to attend the University of Vermont, beginning in the 2013-2014 season.

The Ottawa, Ontario native joined the Birds in October after he was acquired from Coquitlam and went on to lead the team in points with 38 goals and 32 assists in 54 regular season games. Shaw was also a big part of Surrey's deep playoff run, tallying 31 points in 27 post-season games.

"We're very excited for Brady," said Eagles Head Coach and GM Matt Erhart. "His play in the second half of the season and throughout the playoffs gave him a lot of good opportunities, and he's going to a great program at the University of Vermont."

The University of Vermont is located in the city of Burlington. The Catamounts play in the NCAA's Division I Hockey East Association. Shaw will join his Surrey teammates Michael Santaguida and Michael Stenerson at Vermont next year before Drew Best joins them for the 2014-2015 season.

"I visited Vermont with Michael Santaguida, knowing it was probably a front runner with Stenerson and Santaguida going and then Best going in a couple of years," said Shaw. "I went down there and checked it out, and it's everything I was looking for in a school and a hockey team, so I decided that I didn't need to see any other schools."

Shaw becomes the 11th member of the 2012-2013 Surrey Eagles to commit to an NCAA school, joining Devon Toews (Quinnipiac, 2013), Michael Santaguida (Vermont, 2013), Craig Wyszomirski (Merrimack, 2013), Adam Tambellini (North Dakota, 2013), Dan O'Keefe (Yale, 2013), Michael Stenerson (Vermont, 2013), Brett Mulcahy (Holy Cross, 2014), Drew Best (Vermont, 2014), Demico Hannoun (Michigan Tech, 2014) and Jordan Klimek (Northern Michigan, 2014).

The Eagles would like to congratulate Shaw on his accomplishment.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Schaefer Named President

For immediate release: June 4, 2013

Surrey, BC - The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is happy to announce that Assistant Coach and former NHLer Peter Schaefer has been named the President of the team. Schaefer will work with the Eagles' current staff and be involved in the overseeing of all business operations.

"As an ownership group, we were excited to have Peter as a part of the coaching staff last season," said Eagles majority owner Chuck Westgard. "He showed an interest in having an increased role, and we're extremely pleased that Peter will be taking over the daily operations of the team. We're looking forward to continuing to build a strong tradition with the Eagles, and Peter has become a big part of that with the success the team had last year."

Schaefer, a native of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, spent his junior career with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL where he went to two Memorial Cup tournaments and scored 124 goals and 291 points over parts of four seasons. He was drafted 66th overall in the third round of the 1995 draft by the Vancouver Canucks and played 635 games in the NHL, split between Vancouver, Ottawa and Boston. He also spent time playing in Finland, Italy, and most recently Germany where he finished his career at the end of the 2010-2011 season before joining the Eagles' coaching staff in the summer of 2012.

"It was a fun first year in the organization, and I'm looking forward to being more involved with the team," said Schaefer. "I think we have a great opportunity to reach out to the community and have a larger impact off the ice while also improving and growing our hockey club on the ice."

Schaefer will remain behind the bench as an Assistant Coach, but now with the added role of President, he looks forward to working with the team's current sponsors as well as reaching out to new partners.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Michael Roberts Interview

I had a chance to chat with the newest Eagles forward Michael Roberts. We discussed the trade that brought Michael to Surrey from Vernon and looked ahead to his potential role on the Birds next season.