There is no room for error now for the Langley Rivermen.
Back-to-back home-ice losses have the junior A hockey club on the brink of elimination in their best-of-seven playoff series against the Wenatchee Wild.
Wenatchee won a wild back-and-forth affair on Tuesday night, 7-6 in overtime. And in game four the following night, they scored three third-period goals to win 5-0 and take a commanding three games to one series lead.
Both games were at the George Preston Recreation Centre with gave five set for Friday (March 11) at 7 p.m., also at the Preston Centre.
“We just need to play to our capabilities,” said Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson on Thursday morning.
“We were real good both games before.”
Game four was the first contest won by more than one goal.
In games two and three, Langley rallied from two-goal third-period deficits to force overtime, only to lose both times.
“That is tough to swallow, but we need to be mentally tougher than that,” Henderson said, adding they have to be able to respond to adversity, such as dealing with the emotions of having goals disallowed in back-to-back games.
In game four, Wenatchee’s Matthew Baker opened the scoring in the first period, the Wild’s Kyle Stephan doubled the lead in the second period. And that was more than enough offence for Wild goalie Chase Perry, who finished with 29 saves, including 17 in the first period alone.
Blake Christensen, Stephan and Brendan Harris scored third-period goals to put the game out of reach.
In game three, Wenatchee led 4-0 in the first period only to see the Rivermen rally to tie things up by the middle of the second period. Wenatchee would score twice more before the period let out but Langley struck for a pair of goals in the third to force overtime for a second straight game.
The Wild would win it 18 seconds into sudden death.