Langley Rivermen in playoff fight


Momentum keeps bucking the Langley Rivermen off its back during  the opening round of the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

Coming off an impressive 6-3 win over the Surrey Eagles the night before, the Rivermen looked poised to take a 3-1 lead in games in the best-of-seven series between the two teams.

The Eagles spoiled the plans by outscoring the Rivermen Saturday at South Surrey Arena.

Both teams were looking to take a 3-2 series lead when they met in game five last night (March 10) at the Langley Events Centre. The game started after theAdvance went to press Monday afternoon,

The series features the first and fourth place teams in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.

The first-place Rivermen (37-13-3-5) were also the BCHL regular season champions.

The Eagles (25-30-1-2) took the final playoff spot in the Mainland. 

Eagles 7, Rivermen 5

Surrey led 2-0 after the first period and 5-3 after 40 minutes before scoring the first two goals of the final frame to take a 7-3 lead.

Late goals by Rivermen captain Mitch McLain and defenceman Chris Forney finished the night’s scoring.

Forwards Kevan Kilistoff, Jakob Reichert, Matt Ustaski scored in the second period.

Rookie Philippe Johansson had a five-point night wih a hat trick and two assists. Kale Bennett also had a big night for the Eagles with a pair of goals.

Rivermen 6, Eagles 3

Down 1-0 after the first period, the Rivermen tallied the only three goals of the second period and then added three more markers through the opening 11:08 of the third frame to take a 6-1 lead.

The Eagles tallied the final two goals of the night to finish off the scoring.

Ustaski scored twice for the Rivermen.

Defenceman Zach Urban, forward Darien Craighead, Reichert, and Kilistoff and also scored for the ’Men, who went 2-5 on the powerplay.

The Rivermen outshot the Eagles 35-28 overall, and 16-4 in the second period.

Rivermen goaltender Brock Crossthwaite stopped 28 of 31 shots to earn the victory.

Eagles 4, Rivermen 3

Wednesday was a tough night all around.

Under entire sections of blue empty seats, the ’Men lost 4-3 to the Eagles.

In front of yet another sparse crowd, this time with just 570 fans in attendance in an LEC arena bowl that seats more than 5,000, the Rivermen saw a 3-2 third period lead slip away as the Eagles scored the final two goals of the night.

Eagles forward Nathan Renouf snapped a 3-3 tie, scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal with 6:01 remaining in regulation time.

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period and 2-2 after two periods of play.

The ’Men took a 3-2 lead 46 seconds into the third period on Ustaski’s second goal of the night.

Then, on an Eagles powerplay, Surrey’s Chase McMurphy tied the game at 3-3 at the 12:14 mark.

Just 1:45 after McMurphy’s tying goal, Renouf notched the winner.

Gage Torrel scored in the second period for the Rivermen.

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