The Langley Rivermen are going through an identity crisis.
Are they the team that reeled off four straight wins to start October, or the somewhat fragile bunch who have lost three of their past four games?
Langley head coach Bobby Henderson is trying to figure that out as the Rivermen prepare for home games at the Langley Events Centre against Coquitlam on Friday night and Surrey on Sunday afternoon.
“Our starts have been pretty good but our last four games haven’t been too great for us,” Henderson said, in the wake of his squad’s 4-1 loss to the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs last Saturday at the LEC.
Henderson said that there is no reason why the Rivermen can’t get back to playing solid, winning hockey again, once they regain their mojo.
Heading into this weekend, the Rivermen sport a 9-6 record.
“It’s typical of teams right now, with peaks and valleys,” Henderson said, of the Rivermen’s recent struggles. “We’ve been in a bit of a slump, here, of late, but we’re not playing bad hockey. We’re in games, it’s a matter of not getting the bounces and not playing with as much enthusiasm as we’ve had.”
On Saturday, despite its 5-8-1-1 record, Alberni Valley dominated the Rivermen on both the shot clock and the scoreboard.
Alberni Valley outshot Langley 40-18, including 17-1 during the third period in which they scored twice to take a 4-1 advantage.
Matthew Graham scored the lone Rivermen goal in the first period, swiping a loose puck past Bulldogs goaltender Carson Schamerhorn.
Langley puck stopper Bo Didur was named the second star of the game as he made 29 saves over the final 40 minutes of action.
Alberni Valley’s leading scorer Josh Adkins notched a hat trick, sandwiching power play goals in the first and third periods around an even strength marker in the middle frame.
Henderson said the Rivermen scorers have been “snakebitten” recently and as a whole, the team has to “get back to having fun. We have to get reset and refocused.”
Leapfrogging the Rivermen in the Mainland standings are the second place Chilliwack Chiefs (9-5-1-2 for 21 points) and first place Wenatchee Wild (10-4-2-1 for 23 points).
ICE CHIPS: The Rivermen’s game versus Coquitlam on Friday has a 7:15 p.m. opening puck drop.
Sunday’s game against Surrey gets underway at 3 p.m.
Tickets for both are available at langleyrivermen.com or at the LEC box office.