The Langley Rivermen and Merritt Centennials put on an offensive show Tuesday night for the fans at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.
The Rivermen and host Centennials skated to a 5-5 tie in B.C. Hockey League pre-season action.
Langley was playing its fourth game of the pre-season and second game in two nights, while Merritt was seeing its first exhibition action.
The Rivermen's top line of Jakob Reichert, Mitch McLain, and Mario Puskarich led Langley's offence, combining for eight points.
It looked like the Cents were going to eke out a victory, leading 5-4 with under five minutes to go.
That's when Langley's Derek Sutliffe took the game into his own hands by scoring the game-tying goal, and what an effort it was.
After picking up the puck through the neutral zone, Sutliffe found himself one-on-one with a Merritt defensemen and executed a perfect toe drag around him before hammering home a snap shot over the shoulder of the Merritt goaltender to even the score.
McLain scored Langley's fourth goal on a quick wrist shot.
The native of Baxter, Minnesota continues to impress. McLain has scored at least a goal in every game he has played in thus far and has six points in his last two games.
The Rivermen have one pre-season game left on their schedule, and that will be against the Wenatchee Wild at the Aldergrove Arena this Sunday.
Game time is 7 p.m.
The Langley Rivermen improved their B.C. Hockey League pre-season record to 2-1 Monday night with a convincing 7-4 win over the Coquitlam Express.
With 11 veterans dressed, the Rivermen had a very similar line-up to Saturday night's contest against Surrey at the Langley Sportsplex.
The first period of the game took a little while to get going as the feeling out process began early on.
Both goaltenders Darren Hogg (Langley) and Daniel Urbani (Coquitlam) made save after save in the first 20 minutes as it was scoreless.
The second frame was the most entertaining of the three, by far.
The Express opened the scoring just over a minute into the period courtesy of a goal from 16-year-old Luca Leone.
However, the lead did not last long.
Later, Langley's Ben Butcher, positioned in the high slot, fired a shot on goal. Off the rebound, Butcher's linemate James Robinson knocked in for his first of the pre-season.
Just over a minute later, the 'Men got their first lead of the game, courtesy of Trevor Cope. The Michigan native took a beautiful pass from Austin Azurdia at centre ice which sprung him on a breakaway, and he made no mistake ripping a shot top shelf on the blocker side.
The back-and-forth play continued as the Express found the equalizer at the 6:33 mark of the period on a goal from Brady Shaw.
In the dying minutes of the middle period, the top line of Mario Puskarich, Mitch McLain, and Jakob Reichert went to work scoring the next two goals back to back on a pair of power plays.
Reichert notched the third Rivermen goal of the period as he whacked the puck out of mid-air off a McLain shot at the side of the net.
Reichert notched the third Rivermen goal of the frame as he whacked the puck out of mid-air off a McLain shot at the side of the net. McLain then scored with just 43 seconds to go in the period, on a play set up by Puskarich from behind the goal.
With a 4-2 lead entering the final period, the Rivermen picked up right where they left off offensively.
Former Express player Evan Campbell got on the board on a perfect shot to the top right corner off a nice feed from Ben Greiner.
The Express as they did not roll over as they got that goal right back. Sam Majka drove the net hard and flicked in a loose rebound past Hogg to narrow the deficit to 5-3.
After that, McLain buried his second on the night, a laser like wrist shot to the top left corner past Urbani with 8:50 left in the game.
Cope and Coquitlam's Jace Hennig traded goals in the last-minute of the contest to close things out, as the Rivermen skated away with a 7-4 victory.
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