Rivermen pound Grizzlies to close tough road trip

Langley avoids its first three-game losing streak with decisive 7-1 victory over Victoria

After a tough start to their Vancouver Island road trip, the Langley Rivermen managed to end on a winning note.

The Rivermen shook off a pair of losses to knock off the Victoria Grizzlies 7-1 on Sunday afternoon.

The game was the junior A hockey club’s third contest in less than 72 hours after they dropped a 5-1 decision to the Powell River Kings on Friday night and lost 8-3 to the Nanaimo Clippers the following night.

The victory also helped Langley (27-18-1-5, 59 points) avoid their first three-game losing streak of the BCHL season.

Against the Grizzlies, Marcus Vela scored twice in a 14-second span to lead the team while Gage Torrel had a goal and three helpers.

Other scores went to Hunter Anderson, Colton Kehler, Ben Butcher and Kevan Kilistoff.

Bo Didur bounced back after getting pulled in his previous start to stop 25 of 26 shots.

In the Nanaimo contest, the Clippers led 4-3 after a wild first period and then scored the game’s final four goals.

Justin Szeto, Zac Masson and Vela had the Rivermen goals.

And against Powell River, the game was tied at one early in the second before the Kings tacked one on late in the period and then three more in the third.

Kilistoff had the lone Langley goal.

With just one victory in three tries, Langley did fall behind in their quest for a second straight Mainland Division title as the team finds itself five points back of the Chilliwack Chiefs with eight games to play.

Four of those games come — including tonight (Thursday) at the Langley Events Centre — are against the Prince George Spruce Kings, who are four points back of the Rivermen for second place in the division.

Langley also has a home-and-home series with Coquitlam this weekend, Friday at the LEC and Saturday at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.