An old nemesis wrecked the Langley Rivermen’s 2016/17 housewarming party Friday.
The Chilliwack Chiefs doubled the Rivermen 6-3 at the George Preston Recreation Centre (GPRC) in the B.C. Hockey League season opener for both teams.
This was the Rivermen’s first regular season game at the GPRC since moving over from the Langley Events Centre last May.
The ’Men did play a their home playoff games against the Wenatchee Wild at the GPRC last spring, because their former home, the LEC, was being used for the B.C. high school basketball championships.
Nicholas Ponak scored the Rivermen’s first goal of the campaign just 1:49 after puck drop to open the scoring.
The Chiefs responded with the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
Langley’s Ryan Barrow scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal 4:11 into the second frame to tie the score at 2-2.
But on the same power play, the Chiefs killed the Rivermen’s momentum when Connor McCarthy found the net, just 35 seconds after Barrow’s goal to give the visitors a 3-2 lead.
After Kale Kane put the Chiefs ahead 4-2, the Rivermen’s Zac Masson scored to bring Langley to within one, at 3-2.
With 7:58 to go in the middle frame, the Chiefs’ Linden Hora restored Chilliwack’s two-goal lead.
In the third period, McCarthy’s second of the night at the 6:16 mark was the only goal of the frame as the Chiefs won by a three-goal margin.
The third period was a feisty one with a pair of fights – Langley’s Sean Gulka taking on Chiliwack’s Will Calverley and less than five minutes later, Ponak dropping the gloves with the Chiefs’ Will Calverley.
Mark Sinclair earned the win in goal for the Chiefs while Langley netminder Bo Didur took the loss.
The Chiefs had a slight, 33-31 edge in shots.
FINAL BUZZER: The Rivermen have no time to dwell on the loss. They’re back in action tonight at the GPRC, hosting the Coquitlam Express with a 6 p.m. opening puck drop.