Story by Brendan Batchelor – Photos by Garrett James (ISN)
March 31, 2013, (ISN) – Nic Pierog lifted the Surrey Eagles to a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Coastal Conference Final on Saturday night, scoring the winning goal 1:18 into overtime to give the Birds a 2-0 series lead on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Michael Santaguida made 31 saves in the Surrey net for the victory.
The first period was very similar to the opening game of the series. Neither team scored, although both sides had good opportunities. Chase Paylor was stopped by Santaguida early in the frame to keep the Bulldogs off the board, and Surrey had a great chance when Brady Shaw deflected a point shot just wide of Jay Deo’s goal. The Dogs finished ahead on the shot clock 10-6 through one period, but it was the Eagles who had the better quality chances in the first.
Forward Teal Burns battles along the boards with Brett Mulcahy – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
Jay Deo plays the puck out of his defensive end – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
Surrey’s Drew Best breaks in on goal – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
Alberni Valley found the net for the first time in the series in the middle frame when Evan Tironese beat Santaguida with a hard shot that hit the under side of the crossbar before ending up in the goal. Surrey equalized on a power play just after the midway mark of the period as Adam Tambellini hammered a one-timer past Deo from the right circle to tie the game. The Bulldogs retook the lead before the second intermission when Tironese scored shorthanded, forcing a turnover in the Surrey zone before wiring a wrist shot into the top right corner.
Linesman Bilko seperates Eagles Captain Brett Mulcahy from Alberni defender Wilson – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
Alberni’s Dylan Haugen lets a shot go from his knees – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
Teal Burns lets a shot go from the top of the face-off circle – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
The Eagles came out hard in the third looking to even the score, and Brady Shaw provided the necessary offence when he fired the puck past Deo after making a couple of nifty moves around Alberni Valley defenders. The teams traded chances in the latter half of the stanza, but neither side was able to get the go-ahead goal, and the game would need overtime. Pierog sent the Eagles home happy when he tipped Craig Wyszomirski’s wrist shot from the point as the puck changed direction and snuck past Deo.
Alberni Bulldog sniper Evan Tironese stickhandles at the blue line – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
Surrey Eagles forward Demico Hannoun salutes the crowd after being named 3rd star – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
Michael Stenerson & Evan Tironese race for the puck in the Eagles defensive zone – Garrett James Photography (ISN)
With the win, the Birds improve to 2-0 in overtime games in the 2013 playoffs. Surrey was 1-for-3 on the man advantage while the Bulldogs were 0-for-2. The Eagles finished ahead on the shot clock 39-33.
The best-of-seven series now shifts to Port Alberni for Game 3 on Monday night and Game 4 on Tuesday. Game 5, if necessary, will be back at the South Surrey Arena on Thursday, April 4th. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).
Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Brady Shaw – Surrey
2. Jay Deo – Alberni Valley
3. Demico Hannoun – Surrey
My 3 Stars:
1. Brady Shaw – Surrey
2. Nic Pierog – Surrey
3. Jay Deo – Alberni Valley