What a difference a weekend makes for the Langley Rivermen.
Going into Friday’s home game against the Coquitlam Express, the Rivermen were losers of three of their past four games.
But after a 6-3 win over the Express at the Langley Events Centre and a 5-2 triumph over the Surrey Eagles Sunday afternoon at the LEC, Langley’s junior As have a very respectable 11-6 record, good for third in the B.C. Hockey League’s Mainland Division, one point back of the second place Chilliwack Chiefs and three behind the front-running Wenatchee Wild.
“I thought we played really well [over the weekend],” Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson said.
“The biggest difference was, we got the bounces that we didn’t get the previous week. We had good energy and played with enthusiasm and got results for it.”
On Friday, the Rivermen led 4-1 after the first period before the Express scored twice in the second frame to narrow the margin to 4-3.
But unanswered goals by Logan Mick and Justin Fregona (his second of the night to go with two assists) sealed the deal for the Rivermen.
Sunday versus Surrey, another strong third period that saw the Rivermen score the only two goals turned a tenuous 3-2 lead into a comfortable 5-2 advantage.
Justin Szeto and John Schuldt found the net in the final frame for the Rivermen.
Langley’s Matthew Graham was a terror on special teams, scoring a power play and shorthanded goals in the victory.
Looking ahead, the Rivermen play three games in as many days, starting Thursday when they host Surrey at the LEC. Game time is 7 p.m.
Then, on Friday, they travel east along Highway One to Chilliwack to play the Chiefs at Prospera Centre.
The Rivermen finish their busy stretch Saturday at the LEC, where will host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 6 p.m.
Going into this next busy stretch, the Rivermen are keeping an even keel.
“You can’t get too excited about past results,” Henderson said. “You look around the league, and any team can win on any given night. You have to come prepared the same way, each game. There are no off nights in this league.”
Even though his players are 20 years old or younger and at peak health, Henderson said playing as much hockey as the Rivermen are about to play in such a short amount of time can take a toll.
“It’s tough on the body,” Henderson said. “We’re really lucky that our athletic therapist [Brayden Tonogai] is one of the best in the business. I give him all the credit in the world to get these guys healthy and ready to play.”