The Langley Rivermen have survived, even flourished, through a brutal schedule that saw them play five games in seven days.
Langleyâ€™s junior A hockey team capped the grueling stretch with a 2-1 double overtime win over the West Kelowna Warriors at the Langley Events Centre (LEC) on Remembrance Day Tuesday, Nov. 11.
The day before, on Monday, Nov. 10, the â€™Men travelled to South Surrey Arena, where they plucked the Eagles 6-1.
Langley went 4-1 in those five games and now get to exhale a little bit. They get the weekend off and donâ€™t play again until next Tuesday, Nov. 18 when they travel to Royal LePage Place in the Okanagan for a rematch with West Kelowna.
The Rivermen are 10-7-1-3 and as of Wednesday, sat alone in second place in the B.C. Hockey Leagueâ€™s five-team Mainland Division.
Rivermen 2, West Kelowna Warriors 1 (double overtime)
Jacob Kearley scored the overtime winner and picked up an assist as the Rivermen edged the Warriors 2-1 on Remembrance Day at the LEC.
Kearley was left alone in the slot and finished off a Zac Masson pass from behind the net, 1:54 into the three-on-three double overtime period to give the Rivermen their second straight win as they move to second place in the Mainland Division.
â€œWe did a good job killing a penalty in overtime and I was at the end of my shift,â€ said Kearley. â€œIt was a little risky but it ended up working the way I wanted to and we came away with the win.â€
â€œWe had pretty good pace going all game,â€ Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson said. â€œWe really didnâ€™t have to say too much to the guys, they were pretty focused today.â€
Langley opened the scoring late in the first period, thanks to Matthew Grahamâ€™s wrist shot from inside the blue line that found a way past Warriors goaltender Scott Patton.
Kearley and Ben Butcher assisted on the goal.
West Kelowna tied it up in the third period as Jonathon Desbiens snuck one past Bo Didur, who was outstanding once again, stopping 27 shots to pick up his ninth victory of the season.
â€œBoâ€™s been a wall for us back there,â€ Rivermen captain Kevan Kilistoff said. â€œHeâ€™s given us opportunities to win and weâ€™ve been able to capitalize on them.â€
â€œIt was another strong game from him,â€ Henderson noted. â€œWeâ€™re starting to expect this from Bo and heâ€™s coming through for us time and time again.â€
Things looked dicey late, as the Rivermenâ€™s Cole Williams was called for holding late in the first overtime period. Langley was able to kill it off thanks to some key face-off wins and great goaltending.
â€œI thought he played well,â€ Warriors head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster said, regarding Didur. â€œHe stopped a couple nice chances on our four-on-three power play in overtime, so full marks to him.â€
West Kelowna outshot Langley 28-16 and finished 0-3 with the man advantage.
â€œWe did get a point,â€ he continued. â€œItâ€™s tough to win on the road. We came into another teamâ€™s building and got a point and weâ€™ll take that as a positive heading into the weekend.â€
The Rivermen play back-to-back this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. After playing the Warriors, day, theyâ€™ll finish off the trip the following day with a visit to Penticton as they take on the Vees, who are the top team in the BCHL.
â€œTomorrow will be a recovery day for the boys,â€ Henderson said on Tuesday. â€œTheyâ€™ll have some more â€˜R and Râ€™ this weekend before we ramp things up next week.â€
Rivermen 6, Surrey Eagles 1
Hunter Anderson scored twice and assisted once, Ryan Coulter scored a goal and added two assists, while Didur continued his hot streak, stopping 31 shots as the Rivermen defeated the host Eagles on Monday.
Domenic Masellis, William Campion, and Matthew Graham also found the net for the Rivermen, who led 2-1 after the first period before scoring the final four goals of the night.
The Rivermenâ€™s final two goals were of the shorthanded variety.