The Langley Rivermen’s road trip to Vancouver Island yielded mixed results.
The junior A hockey club doubled up the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-3 on Saturday night before falling 6-4 to the Cowichan Valley Capitals the following afternoon.
The results, combined with the team’s 4-3 double overtime loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs on Dec. 3, leaves Langley with a record of 14-11-14 and their 33 points have them in third place in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.
The first game at Port Alberni’s Weyerhaeuser Arena saw Langley jump ahead 3-0 after one period — Zachary Bleuler, Gage Torrel and Justin Szeto all had goals — and take a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes on Evan Anderson’s score.
“We came out strong, had good energy and some success on the offensive side,” said assistant coach Kurt Astle.
“One of the key things I liked was when Alberni Valley had some success, we responded. We didn’t get down on ourselves, we battled back and got some timely goals from Justin Szeto.
The Bulldogs made things interesting with goals 30 seconds apart early in the third but just 24 seconds later, Szeto’s second of the night gave the visitors a two-goal cushion.
Colton Kehler scored into the empty net to complete the scoring.
Kevan Kilistoff had three assists for the Rivermen while Dante Hahn chipped in with a pair. Darren Martin stopped 32 shots for the win.
“On a personal level it was good to get a little puck luck going for me,” said Szeto. “Kilistoff and Kehler are really easy to play with. I haven’t played centre too much this year so it was good to get the
Zak Bowles, Scott Clark and Chase Gaudreault had the Bulldogs goals.
The game against the Capitals at the Island Savings Centre the next afternoon saw the teams tied at three early in the third period after Hunter Anderson tallied the equalizer 2:33 into the final frame.
But the Capitals would score three of the final four goals for the victory.
“We got into a run and gun style game with them,” said Astle.
“We didn’t do a good job containing their top guys. We had good energy, we just got caught on the wrong side of some bad bounces.”
“It was one of those games where a couple of bounces didn’t go our way and the puck ended up in the back of our net,” said forward Ryan Coulter.
“Next time we play them we’ll come out with a different game plan and have a lot more success.”
Torrel led the Rivermen offence with a goal and two helpers, while Szeto, Kehler and Hunter Anderson had a goal apiece.
Evan Anderson had two assists.
Martin took the loss, allowing six goals on 25 shots as Langley outshot Cowichan Valley 34-25.
“It was good to see Marty play a lot of minutes,” said Astle. “He kept his composure on Saturday. There were a couple defensive breakdowns where he made some big saves. He’d like to have a couple goals back against Cowichan Valley, but overall he played well.”
The Capitals were led by the duo of Thomas Gobell (three goals, one assist) and Darien Craighead (four assists). Sean Harrison and Kyle Horsman had one goal and one assist apiece. Adam Oscevski had the other goal.
The Rivermen are back in action on Dec. 9 as they host the Surrey Eagles at the Langley Events Centre.
They also host the Capitals on Dec. 12 and then the Eagles once more on Dec. 13.
They wrap up the weekend by visiting the Eagles at the South Surrey Arena on Sunday afternoon.