Langley Rivermen's Gage Torrel (right) was named the BCHL player of the month for December. The forward continued where he left off as the schedule resumed after the holiday break with three goals and an assist as his team split a two-game set with the Coquitlam Express.

Langley Rivermen's Gage Torrel (right) was named the BCHL player of the month for December. The forward continued where he left off as the schedule resumed after the holiday break with three goals and an assist as his team split a two-game set with the Coquitlam Express.

Rivermen return to action with split

Langley wins once in home-and-home series with Coquitlam

The Langley Rivermen came up short in their quest to sweep a home-and-home series with the Coquitlam Express.

The junior A hockey club dominated the opener, slowing the Express 6-1 on Friday at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre. But when the teams returned to the Langley Events Centre the following night, it was the Express escaping with the 4-3 victory.

The split leaves Langley with a record of 20-14-1-4 and 45 points, one back of the Chilliwack Chiefs for top spot in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.

Chilliwack does hold three games in hand and the two teams meet three times this weekend, playing Friday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) at the LEC and Saturday at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre.

Rivermen 6 Express 1

Despite not playing for 12 days over the holiday break, the Rivermen showed no signs of rust as the defence delivered one of its best games of the season, holding the high-powered Coquitlam offence to one goal.

Darren Martin stopped 31 shots for the victory.

The offence was paced by Gage Torrel — the BCHL player of the month for December — and Evan Anderson, who each had three-point games, and Erik Udahl who scored twice. Jordan Schneider chipped in with three assists from the blue-line and Justin Szeto had the other Langley goal, which opened the scoring.

Corey Mackin — the league’s leading scorer — had the lone Coquitlam marker.

Express 4 Rivermen 3

The rematch saw Coquitlam go ahead 2-0 in the first period and Langley could never get back on equal footing.

Hunter Anderson, Torrel and Kevan Kilistoff had the Langley goals while Brett Supinski, Brendan Lamont, Owen Stout and Mackin replied for the Express.

Mackin’s goal was a short-handed breakaway as Langley was pressing for the tying goal.

Martin made 23 saves in the losing effort.