Submitted by Fraser Rodgers
The little guy, Michael Santaguida, came up big for the Surrey Eagles in Game 2 of the Fred Page Cup Final. Santaguida stopped all 50 shots he faced, including 21 in the third period, as the Eagles blanked the Vees 2-0 on Saturday night. The Eagles now have a 2-0 series lead with Game 3 set for Penticton on Monday.
The Eagles special teams manufactured the first goal midway through the opening period. On an Eagles 5-on-3 power-play, Demico Hannoun unloaded a snap shot from the left circle and past Chad Katunar at 10:57. The third time the Eagles have cashed in on the two-man advantage in the series.
The Vees trailed after the first period despite outshooting the Eagles 15-10. Brock Balson, John Siemer, Brad McClure and Ryan Gropp all had great looks at the net but Santaguida was there.
The score remained unchanged until late in the second period when Nic Pierog doubled the Eagles lead. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Pierog was sprung on the right wing and from the circle put a wrist shot over Katunar’s glove at 15:44.
The Vees had a glorious opportunity to level the game in the dying moments of the second. During a goal-mouth scramble, Jedd Soleway, Wade Murphy and Louie Nanne had whacks at the puck but couldn’t get it by the scrambling goalie.
The Vees poured on the pressure in the third, throwing everything at the Surrey net. The Vees out shot the Eagles 21-4 but couldn’t find a way to solve Santaguida. McClure had the Vees best chance but his rebound attempt in the crease was swept off the goal line by the paddle of Santaguida’s stick.
Saturday marks just the second time all season the Vees have been shutout. The other time coming on Feb. 8 against Merritt. The Eagles run their winning streak to 11 straight and are 7-1 at home in the playoffs. The series shifts to Penticton for Games 3 and 4 at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Monday and Tuesday. Tickets for those games are available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com