They took down the division leaders one night, but fell short in a comeback bid the second night.
Add it all up, and the Langley Rivermen find themselves in the mix for the BCHL’s Mainland Division title with 10 games to play.
Angus Crookshank scored twice in his team’s 4-1 home-ice victory over the Prince George Spruce Kings last Friday (Jan. 26) at the George Preston Recreation Centre, with Sean Gulka and Nicholas Ponak potting one goal apiece. Braedon Fleming made 28 saves.
And the team battled back from a 2-0 deficit the next night in Chilliwack only to see the host Chiefs snap a tie game in the third period and win 3-2.
Gulka and Brendan Budy had Langley’s goals with Fleming finishing with 25 saves.
It leaves Langley with a 21-15-10-2 record and 54 points and third place in the division, four back of Prince George and five up on Chilliwack for fourth place. The Chiefs do hold a pair of games in hand.
“Considering the guys we have been down, I thought it was pretty gutsy effort both games,” said Rivermen coach Bobby Henderson.
The team had a great first three months of the season, only losing five of their first 30 games in regulation while compiling a record of 15-5-1-9.
But since Dec. 1, the team has been missing key players and it has shown on the ice, with the Rivermen going 6-10-0-1.
“It is just a matter of getting through it,” Henderson said.
“We are getting guys back (but) it is like two steps forward, one step back.”
The team has six of their final 10 games on the road, with the majority of the contests against out-of-division opponents, something Henderson doesn’t mind.
“It is good to get out of the division and see some fresh opponents,” he said.
The Rivermen play the Trail Smoke Eaters (Feb. 2) and the Wenatchee Wild the following night, not the easiest of road trips with the two towns more than 400 kilometres away.
Henderson doesn’t expect his full complement of players for this weekend, but is hopeful to have his squad at 100 per cent as early as next weekend.
Former captain up for honour
Former Rivermen captain Mitch McLain is one of 11 nominees for a humanitarian award presented to an NCAA hockey player. McLain is the senior captain of the Bowling Green Falcons.
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