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Surrey Eagles crowned Coastal champions: advance to BCHL Finals

BCHL hockey squad wins Game 7 vs. Alberni Valley Bulldogs on home ice in South Surrey

Revenge is a dish best served … in a Game 7 Round 3 playoff game.

Surrey Eagles beat the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 3-2 on home ice at South Surrey Arena Tuesday night (May 14), in Game 7 of their third round of BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) playoffs, making them the Coastal Conference champions.

After the Bulldogs bounced them from playoffs last year, the win was extra sweet for the Eagles, who’ve had one of their strongest regular seasons ever, finishing with league-leading stats of 44-8-2, and collecting six of the BCHL’s nine year-end awards.

Ron Brar, who owns the Eagles with his brother TJ, said everyone celebrated the win Tuesday night.

“It’s not often that you get to this point in anything — to share that with family and friends … is amazing … such a special moment,” he said Wednesday (May 15), his voice hoarse from the night before.

READ ALSO: Surrey Eagles win 6 of 9 BCHL year-end awards heading into Round 3 playoffs

He noted this marks the fourth time the team has been Coastal Conference champions during their three-decade history, with two of the previous wins being in the 1990s.

“This is pretty historical. It was pretty epic to be able to do that in our home building.”

Although the junior hockey squad had the chance to win the series in Game 5 at home, and then in Game 6 on the island, the Alberni team battled hard and forced the Eagles to a thrilling Game 7 on the Olympic-sized home ice at South Surrey’s The Nest.

Bulldogs opened up the scoring in the first, but Ryden Evers answered back with a goal to tie the game just over 12 minutes in, quickly followed by another from Ryan Evenhuis.

Alberni’s Nicholas Benetau tied it 2-2 in the second, but a shot from Surrey forward Liam Tanner about 13 minutes into the second turned out to be the game winner, with fans in the arena cheering their appreciation with gusto at the goal.

“Even with Canucks playing yesterday, we still had a good crowd come out to the game,” Brar said.

The Eagles now advance to Round 4 in their quest for the Fred Page Cup, facing off against the Penticton Vees, the Interior Conference leaders during regular season and winner of the past two cups.

Brar is hopeful the support for the South Surrey-based squad will continue to gain momentum for the cup playoff series.

“(Penticton Vees have) got such a historical following and fan base. … Now it’s the Fred Page Cup and we need Surrey’s support,” he said. “We need to fill this arena and get everyone coming to cheer on a historical team – these guys are absolutely incredible! We’re going to be ready for these guys.”

Brar gave credit to the entire organization for their efforts making it this far, from those who work behind the scenes to the coaching staff, players and “our amazing fans that support the team.”

This is just the second year he and TJ have owned the team, Brar noted.

“It just shows if you surround yourself with great people, great things can happen. We’ve still got a long ways to go in this journey this year, but today we’re feeling great,” said Brar.

”I’m so proud of the boys and the entire organization.”

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
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