The Chilliwack Eagles earned a weekend split of a home-and-home with the Surrey Eagles, skating to a 6-4 home-ice victory at Prospera Centre Saturday night.
The Chiefs lost a wild one Friday night, falling 7-6 at the South Surrey Arena. The free-wheeling hockey carried over to the rematch, with neither team seeing much need for defensive hockey.
Mathieu Tibbet got the scoring started in this one, collecting his third of the year just 3:35 in.
Defenceman Cooper Rush got the helper, wristing a puck on net from the right-wing boards. His shot clanged off the left goal post and settled in the blue paint. Tibbet crashed the crease, nudging the puck across the line.
The Eagles quickly tied it up on a goal by Michael Roberts. The Vernon native got a piece of a Ryan Fraser-Lee point shot, deflecting the puck over the shoulder of Chiefs netminder Josh Halpenny.
But despite being out-shot 15-11 in the opening frame, Chilliwack carried a 2-1 lead into the intermission after a late goal by Carter Cochrane. The rookie D-man scored on a power play, burying the rebound from an Austin Plevy shot for his team-leading eighth of the season.
The home team found their legs in the second period, and found a 3-1 lead 3:05 in on another power play goal.
This one was a beauty.
Plevy started the play in the left wing corner, with a quick feed to Zach Diamantoni behind the Surrey net. Diamantoni had it for a split-second before sending it to Blake Gober in front. Gober one-timed the puck past Surrey netminder Devon Fordyce, ending the goalie’s night.
Bo Didur came on in relief, and watched his team get a power play goal from captain Brett Mulcahy at 6:01.
But on the very next shift, just 19 seconds later, Chilliwack’s Jarret Babych few down the right wing, wiring a top-shelf lazer over Didur’s glove to restore the two-goal lead. His fourth of the season had the Chiefs up 4-2 as the third period began.
The Eagles got within one just 15 seconds into the final frame. Nicolas Pierog scored unassisted. The Ontario native fired a wrister from just inside the blueline that clanged off the glass behind the Chilliwack net and came back in front. Pierog followed his shot to the net and showed impressive hand-eye coordination to bat the puck out of the air and past Halpenny.
The Chiefs got into capital-B big trouble a few minutes later.
With Babych already in the penalty box for roughing, Rush took two minutes for cross-checking, giving Surrey a five-on-three for 67 seconds. The Eagles threw the puck around like champs, but didn’t get a single shot on net.
The Chiefs were back in penalty trouble four minutes later after Andrew Sillard ran over Didur in the Surrey cage. And minutes after killing that one off, they were shorthanded again on a Ben Butcher roughing minor.
They survived the penalties, but couldn’t hold off the surging Eagles, who equalized with an even-strength marker at 14:39. Langley native Danton Heinen snuck behind the Chilliwack D and slid a backhand shot past Halpenny.
His seventh looked like it would send the game to overtime, but Plevy and Diamantoni had different plans.
Plevy earned his third assist of the game at 16:08, swooping behind the Surrey net, then feeding his linemate for a one-timer snipe.
Didur came to the bench for the extra attacker with 50 seconds remaining.
With 3.4 seconds remaining, Plevy got the empty netter to wrap up the scoring.
The announced attendance was 1,650.
The three stars were Tibbet (first), Plevy (second) and Mulcahy (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Cochrane.