Langley Rivermen goaltender Darren Martin covers up as Chilliwack Chiefs’ Kurt Black looks for a loose puck during BCHL action at Prospera Centre on Saturday night. Martin was first star as he stopped 36 shots in a 4-1 Rivermen victory.

Langley Rivermen goaltender Darren Martin covers up as Chilliwack Chiefs’ Kurt Black looks for a loose puck during BCHL action at Prospera Centre on Saturday night. Martin was first star as he stopped 36 shots in a 4-1 Rivermen victory.

Rivermen overtake Chiefs for top spot in division

Langley takes two of three from Chilliwack as Mainland Division foes stage three-game weekend series

A convincing 5-1 victory in the rubber match of a three-game series with the Chilliwack Chiefs has the Langley Rivermen sitting in top spot in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.

The junior A hockey rivals met three times in less than 72 hours and after Chilliwack won the opener on Friday 3-2, Langley bounced back with a 4-1 win Saturday night and 5-1 the following afternoon.

The first and last games were at the Langley Events Centre while the middle game of the set was at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre.

Langley leads the Mainland Division at 22-15-1-4 for 49 points, one better than Chilliwack (23-14-1-1). The Chiefs do hold three games in hand.

In the finale of the series, Matthew Graham led the way with two goals and two assists while Zac Masson had a two-goal game and Marcus Vela tallied once.

“The pucks were bouncing our way today,” Graham said.

“It was a fun game to be a part of and it was nice to see our line rewarded for our efforts.”

Langley led 3-0 after 20 minutes and never looked back.

“I’m happy with the way we played,” said Rivermen coach and general manager Bobby Henderson.

“We started strong, played a full 60 minutes and beat a good Chilliwack team.”

“It was like a mini-playoff series,” Masson said. “We found a good way to battle through and show that when the time comes, we’ll be able to get through those tough stretches.”

Playing the same opponent for the third time in as many nights, it is little surprise that tempers started to flare.

“In a game like that, it’s important not to lose your composure ,” said Masson.

“I thought we kept our cool and that’s one of the reasons we got the win.”

“That was a great test for us,” Henderson added. “We got to see what the boys were made out of and they took advantage of it.”

Bo Didur was solid in goal, stopping 28 shots for the victory. Only Chilliwack’s Jordan Kawaguchi was able to beat the Langley netminder.

He was also in goal for the opener on Friday, making 23 saves in the loss.

In that game, Chilliwack never trailed, winning 3-2.

William Campion and Dante Hahn had the Rivermen goals while Brandon Tkachuk, Tipper Higgins and Jake Larson scored for the Chiefs.

Saturday’s game saw Darren Martin make 36 saves in the victory.

Vela and Brandon Tkachuk traded first period goals before Rivermen captain Kevan Kilistoff potted the winner on the power play late in the second.

Masson made it 3-1 with less than two minutes to play in the game and Graham finished things off with an empty-net goal.

The Rivermen hit the road for a pair of games this week, tomorrow (Wednesday) in Merritt against the Centennials and Friday in Surrey versus the Eagles.