Home > Chiefs Hockey > Eagles Win Third Period, Game.

Eagles Win Third Period, Game.

It was an entertaining game at Prospera Centre on Friday night. There were plenty of goals, chances and great saves at both ends, and some bad blood, but it was the Surrey Eagles that made the plays at the end in a 6-4 victory over the Chilliwack Chiefs.

A tough finish for the home side, as the boys held leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in this game. Surrey has made a large part of their year out of erasing deficits and coming back though, so they must recieve a lion’s share of the credit for staying the course, and taking their second straight W out of Prospera.

There’s lots to get to in regards to this game. If I leave something out, shake your head at the screen.

1. Things looked promising enough in the first period. Surrey would score first, but the Chiefs were undaunted, answering back with a pair. Amidst all the talk about Phil Zielonka, Plevy, and Esposito lately, it was Tanner Cochrane that opened the scoring taking advantage of a bounce in the slot, and sneaking a puck past Michael Santaguida. A good feeling for Cochrane to get on the board – His season for the last two months has been nothing but game misconducts, getting trolled by that crazy guy in Victoria while in the penalty box, being an agitator, and the occasional suspension. Nice to see him pot one, although I couldn’t help myself: Cochrane goals: 4 / Cochrane game misconducts: 3 – A stat that’s amusing to me, and me only.

Tanner Cochrane got the Chiefs on the board early with his fourth of the year.

Tanner Cochrane got the Chiefs on the board early with his fourth of the year.

2. And then Zielonka scored again anyways. Just because. 29 on the year now. Good look from Esposito to set him up after the Eagles were too casual defensively. Cooper Rush did nice work at the left point to keep the puck on side as well.

3. When Jaret Babych got in on the act in the second period with his 11th, it looked as though the Chiefs would take control of the game, but give the Eagles credit for continuing to work. When Captain Brett Mulcahy banked one in off of Gillam to cut the lead in half, it gave Surrey some life…..

4…..to the point that even Austin Plevy’s tremendous shorthanded effort on the fourth Chiefs goal didn’t completely faze them. Plevy made a great play in stealing the puck from Jordan Klimek behind the Surrey goal, and scoring on a rebound from the ensuing wraparound attempt. I thought that might be the turning point of the game.

5. Instead, it was Michael Santaguida’s breakaway save on Tanner Burns in the second period. Burns was sprung out of the penalty box, and could have put the Chiefs up 5-2. Instead, Santaguida closed up the five hole, and that’s what gave the Eagles life.

6. They would tie it in the second period in fact, with goals less than three minutes apart. That third Eagle goal was particularly tough to give up. Mitch Gillam, who had an up and down night, was pretty aggresive on a shot from the high slot. When the puck went wide off the end boards, Michael Stenerson was alone for a tap in at the side of the goal. That capped a tough sequence for the Chiefs that was coupled with the Santaguida breakaway stop.

7. Gillam made a couple of monster saves in the third period to keep his team in the game, but I thought he was trying to do a little too much in this one. Very agressive, and it hurt him at times. Some bad luck, too – Mulcahy’s first goal was a puck that bounced up in the air out of view, and banked in off the shoulder. The GWG by Drew Best came after Gillam got spun around stopping a shot off the rush from a sharp angle, forcing him to hug the post – the rebound came out into the slot, and the Chiefs weren’t able to clear – Best chipped it over the Chilliwack goaltender – who was lying on his back facing the end boards (yes, that happened) Wild sequence.

8. People will look at the powerplay disparity in the game tonight (Surrey had 8 to Chilliwack’s 1) and moan about the officiating. Two things: There were a couple calls in this game that should have gone Chilliwack’s way, and didn’t. As we’ve covered in this space before, that stuff evens out over the course of the season.

Also: It’s a slippery slope. When the Chiefs are limiting their opponents to 1 for 8 on the power play, and winning, people like me think – ‘Best penalty kill in the BCHL just doing what they do.” – BUT, when Surrey finishes the night 1 for 8, and wins the hockey game? Then the grumbling of ‘Too many penalties’ starts. Chilliwack has had a few nights this year where they go 9 for 10 on the PK and win. The problem, despite the success, is that you’ve got a number of forwards (and D, for that matter) expanding energy killing penalties when they otherwise could be creating things at the other end. Luke Esposito, Austin Plevy, Phil Zielonka, Josh Hansen, etc are all asked to kill penalties, and they’re pretty good at it, but you’d rather take your chances at 5 on 5 with those guys.

9. Surrey was better in the circle in the third period. Simple and plain. Big factor in the final 15 minutes.

10. Frustration set in late, as evidenced by David Thompson’s hit on Brady Shaw. Like Kevin Guiltinan’s hit on Mathieu Tibbet the night before, it was an unfortunate play. Shaw was knocked into the boards heavily, but left under his own power. Hopefully he’s okay. Adam Tambellini also left this game halfway through the second period and didn’t return.

11. It was an emotional hockey game Friday night, and the Eagles were able to channel things just a little bit better. A positive here for Chilliwack is they have an opportunity to get right back at it on home ice Saturday. No time to dwell. Just go out there and……face a young, frisky Salmon Arm team they haven’t seen yet this season.

And with that, we’ll turn the page.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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