Langley Rivermen: Losses on playoff Games 1 and 2

The first two games of the best-of-seven Mainland division Final have gone to the Coquitlam Express.

Both games were played on Langley Rivermen home ice, making the results sting a bit.

In game one on Friday evening, the Express scored three times in the third period en route to a 4-2 win.

Canon Pieper got the Express on the board six minutes into the first but the Rivermen answered back just two and a half minutes later as Cam Bertsch got his first BCHL playoff goal picking up a loose puck by the crease and putting it home to tie the game at one.

Two goals in the first nine minutes of the third put the Express up by two.

But James Robinson finished a nice play from Austin Azurdia to get the Rivermen back within one with his first of the playoffs with nine minutes to go in the third.

The Robinson goal seemed to give the Rivermen an extra boost as they continued to press and own possession in the Coquitlam zone, but the Express retook their two goal lead.

Brock Crossthwaite headed to the bench for the extra attacker but the Rivermen ended up finishing the game shorthanded after a late penalty.

Langley outshot the Express 38-32 but went 0/4 on the power play while also killing off all three Coquitlam man advantages.

On Saturday, the Rivermen were looking to even things up but the final tally was not in their favour.

Gordie Defiel made 36 saves as the Express kept the Rivermen’s power play off the board for the second straight game.

The Express once again got out to an early lead.

The visitors capitalized on some undisciplined Rivermen play to start the game with three straight penalties while being outshot by Coquitlam 15-8 in the opening frame.

The Rivermen played a much better second, outchancing the Express and outshooting them.

Midway through the third, Gage Torrel and Evan Anderson both collided with Coquitlam defenceman Mark Whiteley behind the Express goal, shaking up the former Rivermen blueliner who left the game.

No penalty was called on the play but after an officials conference, Anderson was handed a five minute major penalty for a blow to the head, and a game misconduct.

The Rivermen were able to kill off the penalty and after riding that momentum, Kevan Kilistoff snapped home his second of the playoffs off a nice backhand pass from Tyson Witala to pull the Rivermen within one.  But Langley couldn’t get the tying goal with the extra attacker on late in the third.

Brock Crossthwaite was also excellent in goal for the Rivermen with 33 saves.

Games three and four are in Coquitlam March 17 and 18. Game five, if necessary, was at the Langley Events Centre at 7:15 p.m. The schedule calls for Game 6 to  be  in Coquitlam on March 21 and if it goes to a seventh game, it’s at the LEC at 7:15 p.m.

– With files from the Langley Rivermen website

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