Not surprisingly, experience trumped youth in a pair of pre-season junior A hockey tilts over the weekend between the Langley Rivermen and the Surrey Eagles.
The two BCHL rivals squared off on Friday and Saturday to kick off the exhibition slate.
The first night saw the Rivermen ice a very young and inexperienced squad — with just one returning player — against a veteran Eagles team.
Surrey skated to the 5-0 victory at the South Surrey Arena.
And the roles were reversed on Saturday at the Langley Sportsplex as it was the Rivermen’s turn to play their veterans against the inexperienced Eagles, winning by an 8-3 score.
And 14 seconds in, Mario Puskarich opened the scoring for Langley. After Surrey tied things up, Scott Moyer notched a pair to give the Rivermen a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
The first goal came on a pretty give-and-go with Derek Stuliffe while the latter was on a beautiful cross-ice pass from Victor Dombrovskiy.
The second period was more of the same.
Sutliffe made it 4-1 taking a sweet behind the net feed from Trevor Cope and Mitch McLain made it 5-1 with a power-play tally, showing great drive and determination to grab a loose rebound at the side of the net and stuffing in a wrap-around goal.
Jakob Reichert then tacked onto the lead, banking a shot off the Surrey goaltender from behind the net.
The third period saw the Rivermen change goalies from James Barr to newcomer Matt Rud.
And the 16-year-old was solid in his debut, allowing two Surrey goals.
Offensively, the Rivermen did not miss a beat, with McLain notching his second on a two-on-one break and Moyer completing his hat trick on a pin-point shot in the slot after some nifty passing from Sutliffe and Aaron Dolby.