The Langley Rivermen find themselves in an 0-2 hole as their playoff series shifts to Surrey for game’s three and four.
Langley lost 3-2 on Friday night and 5-3 the next day with both games at the George Preston Recreation Centre as the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup playoffs began.
Head coach Bobby Henderson said while his team deserved to lose game one, he felt they deserved a better fate on Saturday.
“We came out nervous. I think the 3-2 score actually flattered us,” he admitted. “We were able to put a little push on late and carried that momentum into (game two) and I thought we played a much better game.
“We made a couple of mistakes in the second period that ended up in the back of the net.”
One common theme in both games was the team’s struggles in the middle stanza as Surrey outscored Langley 3-1 in both second periods.
In game one, after a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Langley’s Trevor St. Jean put the Rivermen ahead 1-0.
But during a five-on-three power play, Surrey’s Desi Burgart notched the equalizer. Connor Sundquist and Ty Westgard struck for goals 1:32 apart.
Alec Capstick made it 3-2 but his goal came with just 40 seconds to play.
Westgard and Langley’s Ethan Leyh exchanged first period goals in game two and then Surrey’s John Wesley and the Rivermen’s Connor Marshall traded goals 21 seconds apart early in the second.
Matthew Campese and Chase Danol struck for goals before intermission for a 4-2 Eagles lead.
Langley’s Spencer Berry made it 4-3 with just over two minutes to go before Westgard scored into the empty net to seal the two-goal victory.
Games three and four are March 5 and 6 at the South Surrey Arena with Langley needing at least one victory to force a game five back at the Preston Centre on March 8.
The Eagles were 18-8-2-1 on home ice while the Langley Rivermen struggled away from Langley, going 6-13-8-2.
“I think we have been pretty good on the big ice,” Henderson said about South Surrey Arena’s bigger ice surface. “We like the way building suits up with our speed.
“(We just need to) play our game, use our speed and get pucks deeps and make the most of our opportunity.”