Langley’s Braedon Fleming is back for another season in goal for the Langley Rivermen hockey team, and he demonstrated why that is good news for the team when he recorded a 5-0 shutout against the Wenatchee Wild in a preseason BCHL game on Saturday night (Aug. 24).
William Winship, Tanner Versluis, Joseph Musa, Ryan Helliwell and Will Dow-Kenny scored for the Rivermen.
Head coach Bobby Henderson told the Langley Advance Times that Fleming put his off-season to good use.
“He took his conditioning to another level,” is how Henderson put it.
On the team to-do list is avenging their first-round BCHL playoff loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs, where their arch-rivals managed to come back from a 3-0 deficit to take the best-of-seven series.
Hostilities were set to be renewed on Thursday night (Aug. 29) at the Chiefs’ new stadium.
Henderson suggested it would be a “spirited” match.
“There’s always history with us and Chilliwack, but at this stage of the game we’re trying to finalize our roster,” the coach cautioned.
While much of the team makeup has been decided, he noted there are still a few positions to fill.
“We’ve got a handful of guys fighting it out for the last two or three spots.”
He indicated the Rivermen defense will look a lot like the previous season’s version.
“On defense, we’ll have five guys that were on our hockey team last year.”
Henderson believes Rivermen goaltending and defence was “one of the best in the league last year, if not the country.”
But there could be some changes offensively.
“We’ve got a couple of high-end forwards that we’re excited about.”
Rivermen play Coquitlam Express at George Preston on Wednesday (Aug. 28) at 7:15 p.m..
Then, Langley goes to Chilliwack for the grand opening of the Sardis sports complex on Thursday (Aug 29) at 6 p.m. It has been sold out.
Friday night, the team returns to George Preston centre to take on the Nanaimo Clippers at 7:15.
Regular season play starts on Saturday, September seventh with a home game against Coquitlam at 7:15 p.m. vs the Coquitlam Express.
Rivermen and the Chiefs will have their first regular season rematch on Sunday, Sept. 8th at 2:30 p.m.
The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) will again have a 58 game season.
Each team will play 28 home and away games and have an additional two games played at the BCHL Showcase Festival presented by Bauer.
Founded in Vernon in 1961, the BCHL now includes 17 teams playing in three divisions; Interior, Island and Mainland.
Winners of the BCHL Fred Page Cup win the right to play the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion in the Doyle Cup, and the winner of that match goes on to play in the National Junior A Championship.
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