By Greg Sakaki
Nanaimo News Bulletin
B.C.’s best team is also Western Canada’s best. The Surrey Eagles won the Western Canada Cup on Saturday night in Nanaimo, defeating the Brooks Bandits 4-1 at Frank Crane Arena.
“At the beginning of the season, if you asked me if we would have won, it wouldn’t have crossed my mind,” said Demico Hannoun, Surrey’s player of the game. “But it’s a great feeling right now.”
The B.C. Hockey League champions calmly killed off a number of penalties and continued to build a lead on the Alberta champs as the game progressed. Jordan Klimek, Hannoun, Drew Best and Craig Wyszomirski scored for the Eagles with Cam Maclise responding for the Bandits. Shots ended up 41-30 in favour of Brooks as Surrey goalie Michael Santaguida had another strong game.
“I thought we did a good job of keeping it simple,” said Matt Erhart, Eagles coach. “There was a lot of off the glass and out, but in doing that we trapped some guys down in the zone and our forwards did a good job, once we gained possession, to play with speed.”
Brett Mulcahy, Eagles captain, said his team’s depth on both forward and defence were factors, along with shut-down goaltending.
“Everyone contributed, it seemed, just what they needed to do – scoring, blocking shots, getting pucks out of the zone,” he said. “It was a great team effort.”
The captain lifted the Western Canada Cup trophy in celebration after the game, and indeed the Eagles have much to celebrate – the victory gives them a berth in the Royal Bank Cup national championships in Summerside, P.E.I.
“It’s huge. It’s pretty exciting winning anything, for that matter, but it’s just another stepping stone for us,” Mulcahy said. “We’ll enjoy it tonight but get refocused for the next few days and take a crack at the RBC Cup.”
The Bandits play the Yorkton Terriers on Sunday (May 5) at 4 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena to determine the second berth at nationals … The Eagles’ Devon Toews was chosen tournament MVP and Santaguida was selected top goaltender. The Nanaimo Clippers’ Kyle Kramer was top forward and Brady Norrish of the Yorkton Terriers was top defenceman. Those four players, plus Surrey’s Brady Shaw and Brooks’s R.J. Reed, comprised the tournament all-star team … The Clippers lost 5-3 to the Terriers in Saturday’s early game. For the full story, please click here.