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BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs season ends with Game 7 loss against Surrey

Surrey Eagles named the Coastal Conference champions

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ season has come to an end with a Game 7 loss against the Surrey Eagles in the BCHL’s Coastal Conference Finals.

The Bulldogs struck first in Surrey on Tuesday night (May 14), with Hayden Stavroff picking up a powerplay goal just 4:05 into the first period. But the Surrey Eagles would take a 2-1 lead by the end of the first frame, with Ryden Evers picking up his first of the playoffs at 12:31 of the first, followed by a goal from his teammate Ryan Evenhuis.

In the second, the Bulldogs tied things up with a goal from Nicholas Beneteau, but the Eagles once again took the lead with a goal from Liam Tanner.

The Bulldogs aimed a flurry of shots at the Eagles net at the end of the third period, but Ajeet Gundarah stood strong in net., saving 23 of 25 shots he faced throughout the game. Bulldogs goaltender Callum Tung made 28 saves in the loss.

In a post-game interview with team play-by-play announcer Evan Hammond, Bulldogs general manager and head coach Joe Martin said he was proud of the way his team battled throughout the series.

”Proud of our group for being down 3-1 in the series and finding our way back to this moment,” said Martin.

Bulldogs’ goaltender Callum Tung finished off his BCHL career on one of the most epic runs in the team’s recent history. Tung, 20, played all 18 of the Bulldogs’ playoff games, finishing with an 11-6 record with one overtime loss. He finished the post-season with a 0.940 save percentage and 2.11 goals against average. His performance earned him an honourable mention in the BCHL’s 3 Stars of the Week midway through the Coastal Conference finals.

Martin said it was easy to see early on in the season that Tung would be a standout. “Back in October, early November, he was playing just like this,” Martin said after Game 6. “He wasn’t the guy playing every single night—our crowd and our fans and people around (then) had a glimpse of it.

“We were seeing it all the time in practice and seeing how hot he can be,” Martin added.

“And it’s difficult to do. The most impressive thing is how difficult that is, in not only one series but numerous series, because the days start adding up pretty quick, and bus rides, and maybe some short sleeps. To be able to find that energy and the strength to go through it time and again, that’s the most impressive thing.”

The Surrey Eagles will now go on to face the Penticton Vees in the Fred Page Cup Finals.

With files from Susie Quinn, Alberni Valley News

Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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