Rivermen extend streak to six

Pair of 3-1 victories pushes Langley lead to three points atop BCHL's Mainland Division

The turkey sure tastes better when a team is on a winning streak.

“It was definitely a good weekend for us,” said Langley Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson, following a pair of 3-1 victories on Friday and Saturday that pushed the junior A hockey club’s winning streak to six games.

“I was pretty happy with how we played, starting from the goaltender on out, that has been the difference.”

Langley went to Coquitlam’s Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre on Friday and defeated the Express 3-1. The next night saw the Rivermen host the Surrey Eagles at the Langley Events Centre and win by that identical score.

“We are not scoring five or six goals a game (so) they don’t understand that we have to keep the other team to one or two goals,” Henderson said.

The results also extend Langley’s lead atop the BCHL’s Mainland Division to three points as their record of 9-3-0-1 gives them 19 points as the season approaches the quarter point.

The recent string of success has also moved Langley from honourable mention to 13th in the most recent Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings.

In the first game, Steve Myland stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced to earn first star honours over the Express.

Austin Azurdia had opened the scoring — with a goal for the fifth straight game — on a first period power-play. And after Bo Pieper leveled the score with a man advantage goal for the Express, the teams were tied at one after 40 minutes.

But goals from Nathan Craft and Kevan Kilistoff 2:05 apart sent the Rivermen to the win.

Henderson said the start of Friday’s game wasn’t pretty in the early going as the Express did not give them much space to generate very many chances. The effort was better on Saturday although Surrey responded with a good defensive effort and goaltending.

Once again, Langley found itself knotted at one after two periods with Surrey’s Mitchell Fyffe and the Rivermen’s Jakob Reichert exchanging second-period goals.

Mitch McLain notched the winner four minutes into the third on a power-play and Craft added a late empty-net goal to round out the scoring.

Azurdia and Kilistoff picked up assists on Craft’s goal extending their point streaks to eight and six games, respectively.

Brock Crossthwaite got the call between the pipes and responded with an 18-save effort in the 3-1 victory.

“We were relentless and it paid off,” Henderson said.

•••••

The Rivermen will look to make it seven straight when they host the Chilliwack Chiefs on Oct. 16 at the Langley Events Centre with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop.

The team also hosts the Penticton Vees on Saturday (7:15 p.m.) and the Prince George Spruce Kings on Sunday (2 p.m.)

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