The Langley Rivermen and Surrey Eagles squared off on “Family Day” for a rare Monday afternoon tilt. It was the eighth and final time the teams would play one another and it was the Eagles with a 6-1 win advantage coming into the game in the season series. The ‘Birds have been one of the most dominant teams all year in the BCHL and have been in the number one spot in the Mainland Division for more than a month. James Barr would face Michael Santaguida in-goal for a third time in 17 days.
Early on in the game, the Rivermen would get into penalty trouble taking two early minors, but would kill both of them off. However, the ‘Men would take a third straight minor and the Eagles would capitalize on their third man advantage. With just a couple of seconds left in the penalty, Nicholas Pierog would start a rush down the right-wing and fire a shot on Barr which then deflected off the body of Kevin Kilistoff going hard to the net and the puck found it’s way into the goal. The Eagles would take a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes and led in the shots category 16-9.
The second period was much of the same, except Langley had four power plays, but could not solve Santaguida on any of the opportunities. Brady Shaw would score the lone goal of the frame on a fantastic breakaway move in tight on Barr.
The Eagles would score early on in the third period off a highlight reel goal from Shaw. The Eagles forward went one on one with a Rivermen defenseman, and pulled off a perfectly executed spin-o-rama and was able to stuff a backhand shot in past Barr. It was an unbelievable effort and had the crowd at the South Surrey Arena buzzing for quite some time. Just over six minutes later, Drew Best would score the ‘Birds second power play goal of the year on a redirection in the slot to make it 4-0. The Rivermen would not get shut out as Mario Puskarich was able to score his first goal in six games. Tanner Johnson made the whole play happen as he made a great pass to Puskarich on a two on one who then rifled a shot blocker side for his 31st of the year. That would be all the ‘Men would get as they Eagles skated away with a 4-1 victory.
In the end, Barr would once again face over 40 shots in a losing cause for a second straight game. Santaguida meanwhile, earned his league leading 25th win on the year stopping 20 shots. The Rivermen still have three more games left this week starting Thursday in Prince George. Points will be at a premium with Coquitlam nipping at their heels only three points back.