April 12, 2013, Surrey, BC (ISN) – The Surrey Eagles scored two power-plays goals and added a short-handed tally, as they opened the Fred Page Cup Final with a 5-2 win over the Penticton Vees Friday at a sold out South Surrey Arena.
Michael Stenerson paced the Surrey attack, with two goals and three points and now has five goals and six points in his last two games. Stenerson scored the first of two power-play goals early in the second that turned the game in the Eagles favour.
Tied at one’s early in the middle frame, the Vees ran into penalty trouble, taking three minor penalties in just over a minute. It started when the Vees were handed a double-minor just seventy-two seconds into the period. The Eagles went to work quickly, as Michael Stenerson gave them their first lead at 2:54; Stenerson rifling a one-timer from the right-circle.
Seventy-one seconds later the Vees went down two men after a tripping call. The Eagles again wasted little time make the most of their opportunity, as Craig Wyszomirski’s changeup from the right-wing fooled Chad Katunar at 3:25; two goals thirty-one seconds apart. Three unanswered goals by the Eagles after the Vees opened the scoring midway through the first.
Wade Murphy cut into the two-goal deficit just past the eight-minute mark when he tucked in a wrap-around attempt at 8:07. Murphy picked up a rebound at the side of the goal, steered the puck around the net and came out at the far-post, jamming the puck past Michael Santaguida; Murphy’s first goal in four games.
Down by one in the third, the Vees pressed trying to level the game but nothing would materialize. The Eagles doubled their lead just before the seven-minute mark after Demico Hannoun tapped-in a slap-pass from the point into an open net at 6:59. Nic Pierog put the finishing touches on the win, with an empty-net goal at 19:45.
In the first, Brock Balson opened the scoring for the visitors on a crafty redirect on a nice setup by Ryan Gropp. Balson broke hard for the goal and Gropp hit the streaking Vees forward with a tape-to-tape pass from the left-wing. Balson lunged and redirected the puck up and over the blocker of Michael Santaguida at 9:13; his fourth goal in three games.
Michael Stenerson tied the game late for the Eagles whilst short-handed. Stenerson had a backhand from the slot deflect twice, including going off a defenders leg, before surprising Chad Katunar at 18:10.
FINAL SCORE: 5-2 EAGLES
Shots 33-25 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-2 Eagles: 2-5
Three Stars: 1) Michael Stenerson 2) Craig Wyszomirski 3) Demico Hannoun
Attendance: 1, 542
Friday marks the first time this post-season the Vees didn’t win the opening game of a series and it was also their first regulation loss; their only other blemish was an overtime setback in Game Four against West Kelowna. The win pushes the Eagles win streak to 10 games, dating back to game three of their first round matchup with the Langley Rivermen.
Game Two goes Saturday night at South Surrey Arena; face-off is 7:15pm. The Vees are looking for the weekend split before heading back to Penticton for Game’s Three & Four Monday and Tuesday. Tickets for those games are available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com