The Surrey Eagles walked into the Langley Events Centre on Tuesday night and skated away with a 7-3 victory after it was all said and done. After an eight-day break between games for the Rivermen, things did not go as planned as the ‘Birds imposed their will against the home team the entire night. It was the fourth meeting overall between the teams.
The Rivermen got out to a fast start as leading scorer Mario Puskarich fired home his 14th of the season just 22 seconds into the game. The goal was caused off of good hard work down low from James Robinson who did not stop digging behind the Surrey goal and found Evan Campbell who put it on the tape of Puskarich who made no mistake ripping a shot five hole on Michael Santaguida. Unfortunately for the ‘Men, they took a penalty a few minutes later and got burned on a Surrey power play on a beautiful shot by Craig Wyszomirski. The score stayed deadlocked as James Barr was great for the rest of the period and made key stops on two more Surrey power plays. With time running out in the opening period, Mitch McLain spotted a loose puck in front of the Surrey goal and back-handed it in for the 2-1 lead. It was his sixth goal of the season and it was a big late tally for the Rivermen heading into the intermission.
However, the Eagles dominated the second period from start to finish especially Brady Shaw. The Surrey forward notched two goals and two assists in a nine minute span to give his team a 5-2 lead after forty minutes. The fourth Surrey goal spelled the end to Barr’s night as he was yanked in favour of Darren Hogg. Shaw was outstanding in the second period and It was one of the most dominating performances I have seen all season long from a single player. Drew Best also had himself quite the period with one goal and two assists.
With the Rivermen in a big hole in the third frame, Evan Campbell got his team back on track with a great goal once again started by James Robinson at the 5:22 mark. Robinson stole the puck in the Surrey end and spotted a wide open Campbell who rifled in a shot glove side to cut the lead to two goals. That was all the Rivermen would muster up in the final period as the Eagles got goals from Shaw and Burzan to close out the game.
The Eagles now lead the season series at three wins to one. Shaw finished the night with three goals and two assists, while Drew Best ended up with one goal and three helpers. Santaguida picked up his 11th win of the season, while Barr was charged with the loss facing 22 shots.
The Rivermen are set to embark on another Island road trip this coming weekend. The team will look to end the four game slide on Saturday night in Alberni and then finish the week in Victoria on Sunday Afternoon.