By Steve Erickson
The past week has seen the Surrey Eagles undergo some roster changes in hope of finding that ever elusive chemistry that seems to be currently missing from the roster.
It’s been trying at times and one can sense the game will turn around for the guy’s and in today’s game it’s all about believing in oneself.
That they do, but knowing and doing are two different areas of any teams game that requires work
The start for the Eagles wasn’t what the Eagles were looking for as the Centennials got on the board first at 1:13 sending shot after shot at Kyle Dumba.
As if the first goal wasn’t enough, they managed to jump on a cross-ice pass that went wrong as the Eagles were breaking up ice allowing the Centennials to get their second of the game 1:05 later.
The Eagles had chances, but with things not going right, any and all bounces were going back to the stick games with high hopes of turning things around, given the recent addition of players into the system and while they recently arrived, it’s all about timing and chemistry.
It’s not that they don’t have any, it’s simply a case of believing in themselves knowing that they are capable of pulling off successive back to back wins albeit early in the season.
The Eagles were catching the Centennials on the back end of a three game road trip hoping for a tired squad to hit the ice capitalizing on a fast start, but for whatever reason that wasn’t in the cards.
This game would feature newest ‘tender” Kyle Dumba between the pipes with Cayden Bailey in the back-up role resting Daniel Davidson.
Dumba was looking for a solid performance in front of his new found fans on home ice and try as he might he was tested often from various areas by the Centennials.
The Centennials jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the mid-way point of the period forcing the Eagles played strong in their own zone that eventually saw them get the chance they were looking for with Mack Gray grabbing his first of the season at least bringing the game within a pair.
Merritt showed strong jump from the start having the Eagles players what they had to do to rebound from the rough start being out shot in the first by a commanding 19-6 margin.
Some questioned why no time out was called after the second or third goal by the Centennials, but in today’s game it’s all about timing and it was no surprise that the coaches would save for a more opportunistic time in the game.
The only goal in the second saw Nick Granowicz give the Centennials a 4-1 lead after breaking in the zone taking a pass from Nick Wicks at the 11:31 mark.
The second saw the Eagles come out with more jump pressing the net on several chances only to have them turned aside by Vincent Duplessis who faced 10 shots to the 14 shots faced by Dumba.
Frustration was building for the Eagles and one could sense the tension by the Eagles and returning for the third saw a more urgent style of play getting far more shots early in the period.
Throwing pucks at the net was the game plan and it never took all that long as Corey Clifton and Brandon Santa Juana were both entering the zone on the right side giving the puck back to Ryan Miley at the point.
He threw one in the direction of the net causing a traffic jam at the right post with Ty Westgard jumping on the loose puck at 12:29 pulling the Eagles within two.
Pressure was in the favour of the Eagles as the period was coming to an end and shot after shot was directed at the net causing the Centennials to try a simple dump-out only to be blocked at the blue line by Brendan Winslow.
He slid one cross ice to Westgard who hammered one on net that Caige Sterzer tipped in front to notch his first of the season at 18:49 pulling the Eagles within one making it an exciting finish.
Surrey continued to press, but were unable to get the tying marker past Duplessis who was force to make key saves in the later part of the period.
Surrey managed to force Duplessis to make 31 stops while Dumba was tested from all areas on the ice facing 40 through 60 minutes.
The Eagles are putting this game behind them as they prepare to face the Vipers for a mid-week game in Vernon with a 7 PM face-off.
FortisBC Player Of The Game
Caige Sterzer (1G/0A)
1st) Ty Westgard (1G/1A)
2nd) Mack Gray (1G/0A)
3rd) Vincent Duplessis (31SA/28SV)
Thanks to everyone who came out for the ‘SKATE WITH THE EAGLES” following the game.