It was a rough night for goaltenders Saturday at the George Preston Recreation Centre.
Both of the Langley Rivermen’s netminders were hurt during the ’Men’s 3-3, double overtime deadlock with the visiting Nanaimo Clippers.
The Rivermen lost starter Braedon Fleming, who was injured at the 1:37 mark of the second period when he went down to block a shot.
Fleming was stabilized and taken off the ice on a stretcher.
“He came across [the] ice, and I don’t know if he caught a rut or what, but he was in considerable pain,” Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson said.
Asked about Fleming’s status, Henderson said, “Day to day. We’ll see how it goes. It’s a lower body injury.”
The Clippers’ Will LeNeave scored Nanaimo’s first goal at the same time as Fleming’s injury.
Into the net went Bo Didur, who was subsequently shaken up when steamrolled by Nanaimo’s Matt Creamer.
Creamer – who was handed a five minute major and game misconduct for goaltender interference – was handed a two-game suspension by the BCHL as a result of the incident, Henderson told the Times.
Didur showed his toughness by playing the rest of the game.
“We’re just waiting for him [Didur] to come in this morning to evaluate him,” Henderson said Monday.
As for the game itself, Ryan Barrow scored a pair of first period goals to stake the home team to a 2-0 lead.
Barrow – the Rivermen’s leading scorer with 32 points – completed his hat trick with his 13th of the campaign at the 10:57 mark of the middle frame to put the Rivermen ahead 3-1.
Nanaimo scored twice in the third period to send the game into overtime.
LeNeave and Ben Solin, who notched the game-tying goal with 3:58 to play, erased the two-goal deficit.
Neither team could find the net during the two overtime periods, as the teams skated to a rare tie.
With the tie, the Rivermen are 8-12-3-2 and sit in fifth place in the six-team B.C. Hockey League Mainland Division.
Henderson said the Rivermen were a bit rattled after both their goalies went down.
“Early on, I thought we played great but when things got a little bit silly there, we kind of got caught up in it, and got away from our game plan,” Henderson said.
“We didn’t necessarily execute as well as we would have liked, but all in all, I thought they played pretty good.”
At the same time, Henderson said the Clippers played a gritty road game.
“Nanaimo came hard. They tried to create something out of nothing,” he said. “They were down early and they clawed and scratched and kicked their way got back into one.”
Barrow was a huge factor Saturday.
“He’s been awesome,” Henderson said. “When we identified him last year, we thought he’d have the potential to lead our team in scoring one day. It was just a matter of him getting physically stronger and getting the confidence in the league. Mentally, he was prepared to be a go-to guy for us. It’s nice to see him step up for us, especially with (third leading scorer) Max Kaufman out (with an injury).”
The Rivermen get a bit of a break in their schedule.
They don’t play again until this Friday, Nov. 25, when they host the West Kelowna Warriors. Game time at the GPRC is 7:15 p.m.
It’s the first of three games at the GPRC in three days for the ’Men.
On Saturday, the Surrey Eagles pay a visit with a 6 p.m. opening puck drop.
The home stand ends Sunday afternoon, as the ’Men take on the visiting Vernon Vipers at 2 p.m.
There’s a possibility they could go into the weekend minus their two regular netminders.
Henderson said if that’s the case, the Rivermen have a couple of “real good” affiliates who are ready to step in and guard the cage.