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Langley Rivermen acquire a ‘Black Ace’ for BCHL playoffs

Poker term used to describe backup player
Minnesota-born forward Caden Lee has been picked up as a ‘Black Ace’ backup player for the Langley Rivermen during the BCHL playoffs. (Langley Rivermen)

A few days after Langley Rivermen clinched the last spot in the BCHL Coastal conference playoffs, the team announced the signing of forward of Minnesota-born Caden Lee as a “Black Ace” to give them some backup when the best of-seven series for a chance at the Fred Page Cup gets underway.

Originally coined in the 1940s by former Boston Bruin Eddie Shore when he was the owner of the AHL’s Springfield Indians, “Black Ace” was used to describe extra players kept on the squad, who scrimmaged with the team but didn’t play until a slot opened up.

They were mostly players who were injured or in the doghouse, so Shore considered them down on their luck, and compared them to the unlucky black ace hand in poker.

The term has since come to mean extra players added to a roster for a team’s playoff run after their own season is over.

Black Aces practice with the team and are expected to be ready to step into the lineup if any of the regular players in the lineup are unable to play.

Born in Chaska, Minnesota, Lee, 18, a 6’ 185-lb. forward, scored 26 goals in 30 games in the 2023-24 season for ChanhassenHigh School, located in a southwestern suburb of Minneapolis.

Playing for the USHL Cedar Rapid RoughRiders in Iowa, Lee scored two goals in 12 games, and has committed to Minnesota State.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley Rivermen wrap up last home stand of regular season with a win and a loss

His signing was announced after Rivermen clinched their spot in the playoffs with an overtime win on Saturday, March 16 at George Preston before more than 1,000 in the stands.

It was a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Victoria Grizzlies, with goals from Oskar Komarov, Luke Ashton, and Dalton MacGillivary – who scored twice in less than five minutes – along with Logan Morrell, who forced the game into sudden death in the closing second of the final period. Riv won in overtime when Ryan Schelling got the game winner.

READ ALSO: Young Langley Rivermen fans get on the ice with team

Rivermen wrapped up their regular season with two road trip losses, both going to overtime, 4-3 to Nanaimo Clippers on Friday, March 29 and 3-2 to Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday, March 30.

Rivermen will begin playoffs against Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday, April 5, and Saturday April 6 in Chilliwack before returning home to George Preston arena on Monday, April 8 and Tuesday, April 9. Booth Langley games are at 7:15 p.m.

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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