Friday, November 30, 2012


Surrey Eagles goaltender Michael Santaguida turned aside 43 of 45 shots sent his way as the Eagles picked up their 9th win in their last 11 games as they knocked off the Express 4-2 Friday night at the South Surrey Arena.

The Express got off to a quick start to the game. Opening up an early edge in shots. One of the best chances they had was a one timer from the slot by Justin Georgeson that caught the inside of the post and stayed out.

Two early powerplays in the opening 7 minutes for the Express were an opportunity to open the scoring but they couldn't take advantage of them.

As the period went along, the play began to swing in Surrey's favour. The Eagles opened the scoring on their first powerplay. On that advantage Devon Toews made a great cross ice pass to Demico Hannoun who blasted a one timer past Cole Huggins.

33 seconds later the Eagles struck again as Mason Blacklock was able to find a loose puck and slide it through the legs of Huggins.

This season the first goal of the game has proven to be a definitive indicator as to whether or not the Express will be victorious at the end of the night. Including Friday's game, the Express are now 1-11-1 when allowing the first goal. And they are 12-1 when scoring first.

Both goaltenders came up with some spectacular saves late in the first period. Cole Huggins turned aside Trevor Cameron with just over a minute remaining in the period. Then Santaguida stoned John Siemer on a bang bang play in front of the net.

John Siemer got the Express on the board with a beautiful tally in the Eagles zone. With the Express on the powerplay he carried the puck into the Eagles end then made a quick move before firing a quick snap shot past Santaguida to get the Express on the board.

The Express had another strong start to the period opening up an 9-2 advantage in shots.

Surrey once again re-stored their two goal lead as Nicolas Pierog carried the puck down the boards in the Express zone before firing a pass to Trevor Cameron who re-directed it past Huggins.

It didn't take long for the Express to get back within a goal again. And again it was Siemer this time using his speed to try and split the Eagles defence and get the puck to the net. He was stopped by Santaguida, but Phil Zielonka was there to bury the rebound.

In the dying minutes of the period the Express penalty killers clutched up to keep the Express in the game. They weathered a 5 on 3 advantage for the Eagles for 43 seconds keeping the deficit at one entering the third period.

The third period saw the Express start a period strong again. They had established a good cycle game and were winning faceoffs in the Eagles zone which were leading to scoring chances. But they were turned aside every time they got close to Santaguida.

Shortly thereafter the momentum swung again back in the Eagles favour. Jordan Klimek carried the puck into the Express zone. He bounced off a hip check from John Siemer, maintained his balance and snapped a wrist shot to the stick side past Huggins for the third two goal lead of the game for the Eagles.

The Express kept up their pressure in the third period. But Santaguida wasn't going to crack anymore. He had 18 third period shots sent his way turning them all aside.

The Mainland division remains a very difficult nut for the Express to crack as their record now has fallen to 2-9-1 vs. division rivals this season. While they're 11-3 against Island division and Interior Conference clubs.

The Express get an Interior conference opponent Saturday as they host the Trail Smoke Eaters on Teddy Bear toss night. 

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