Langley Rivermen nearly through gauntlet of games

The Langley Rivermen fell flat Saturday in their bid for a third straight win.

A 7-1 loss to the host Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday at the Prospera Centre dropped Langley’s B.C. Hockey League squad’s record to 8-7-1-3. The

Rivermen sit alone in third in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.

The second-place Chiefs improved to 11-4-0-1.

Langley played last night against the Surrey Eagles at South Surrey Arena. The game got underway after the Langley Advance went to press Monday afternoon.

The ’Men will finally complete the gauntlet of playing five games in seven days today (Nov. 11) when they host the West Kelowna Warriors at the Langley Events Centre. Game time is 4 p.m.

To honour Remembrance Day, the Rivermen are offering free admission to military personnel and those with emergency services.

Chilliwack Chiefs 7, Rivermen 1

The Chiefs managed a split in their home-and-home weekend series with the Rivermen by posting big win over the visitors.

The Chiefs, who led 2-0 after 40 minutes, scored the final four goals of the night to turn a 3-1 game into a rout.

Matthew Graham scored the Rivermen’s lone goal, narrowing the deficit to 3-1 at the 7:28 mark of the final frame.

Luke McColgan and Craig Puffer had two goals each for the Chiefs.

Rivermen 3, Chilliwack Chiefs 2

Another strong goaltending performance by Bo Didur and two goals in less than three minutes in the third proved to be the difference on Friday night as the Rivermen edged the Chiefs 3-2 at the Langley Events Centre.

After both teams exchanged goals in the first two periods, Kevan Kilistoff’s 12th of the season and Marcus Vela’s power play marker on a nice passing play involving Matt Graham and Gage Torrel made it 3-1, as the Rivermen held off a late charge from Chilliwack to pick up their second straight win.

“They’re one of the top teams in the league,” Rivermen assistant coach Kurt Astle said, just after the victory. “We wanted to see what we were made of tonight, and the guys bought in and responded well. We limited their opportunities and capitalized on our chances.”

“We learned our lesson from last week,” added Kilistoff, the Rivermen’s captain and leading scorer. “Playing a good game and then losing a home and home against Coquitlam. This time, we needed a full effort from top to bottom and we did tonight.”

Colton Kehler started the scoring by netting his second of the season, finishing off a pass from Jacob Kearley and Cole Williams.

The Chiefs answered in the second period when Tipper Higgins beat Didur high on the short-side to even things up at one after two periods.

The Chiefs put the pressure on late but Didur made some crucial saves, stopping 29 shots to pick up his seventh win of the year.

“Their goaltender played well for them,” Chiefs head coach and general manager Jason Tatarnic said. “He made some key saves for them and was the difference.”

“Bo kept us in there,” said Kilistoff. “Without him in net, it would’ve been a different game.”

“There’s times when he made some big saves when we slipped up,” said Astle. “He’s given our team confidence on the back end and it’s good competition between our two goalies.”

Rivermen 5, Merritt Centennials 1

With some stellar goaltending from Didur and two first period goals, the Rivermen dominated the Cents Wednesday at the LEC.

The Rivermen did something they were unable to do in their previous game against Coquitlam, and that was get off to a strong start.

Two first period goals from Kearley and Kilistoff set the tone for the rest of the night.

“Our approach coming into tonight was good,” Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson said, after the game. “We were willing to do the little things tonight to win. We played hard all the way through. Bo played well and made some key saves.”

“We took over the game right from the start with two first period goals,” defenceman Zachary Bleuler said.

Didur had his shutout snapped with six seconds remaining in the third period but picked up his sixth win of the season, stopping 33 shots.

“It’s a team game,” he said. “At the end of the day all you want is a win. It’s always nice to try and get a shutout but sometimes that’s the way it goes and I’m just glad we got the win.”

“Bo’s a great goalie,” said Bleuler. “We know we can rely on him to make the big save and get the job done and he did tonight.”

Kilistoff along with Torrel and Vela led the way for the Rivermen, scoring two points each.

Evan Anderson and Jordan Schneider chipped in offensively with a goal apiece.

Merritt came in with the number one goalie in the BCHL with Jonah Imoo sporting a goals against average of 1.37 before allowing five goals on 45 shots against the ’Men.

“They played well,” Centennials head coach and general manager Luke Pierce said. “You got to give Langley a ton of credit. They were the hungrier team and showed they wanted it more. It’s a good lesson for us to learn.”

“They’re on top of you every time we had the puck,” he continued. “They moved pucks really well on the power play and I thought their goaltender was the difference in the game and stopped us when we had some key chances to get back in the game.”

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