Langley Rivermen steamroll Express, tie Bulldogs

It was a productive weekend for the Langley Rivermen.

In back-to-back home games played less than 24 hours apart from each other at the Langley Events Centre, Langley’s B.C. Hockey League squad rolled past the Coquitlam Express 6-1 on Saturday night before battling to a 2-2 tie with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Sunday afternoon.

6-1 on Saturday night before battling to a 2-2 tie with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Sunday afternoon.

The win and tie gives the Rivermen a 5-4-1-3 record, as they sit alone in third place in the five-team, BCHL Mainland Division.

 

Rivermen 2, Alberni Valley Bulldogs 2

The ’Men concluded their weekend home stand by playing to a 2-2 with the Bulldogs.

As a result, the Rivermen picked up three of four points over the weekend.

“The pace of the game went really well to start,” Rivermen associate coach Jon Calvano said. “We gave up a shorthanded goal to start but made up for it with some good puck support and good work on the forecheck, but were unable to come away with the extra point.”

The Bulldogs got things going as Brett Stewart scored his second of the season, shorthanded, beating goaltender Darren Martin to make it 1-0 Alberni Valley.

Langley scored 10 seconds apart in the third period, as Jordan Schneider netted his second of the season on the power play to even things up at one.

Right after that, Dante Hahn snapped one past goaltender Nathan Warren to give the Rivermen a 2-1 lead, midway through the third period.

Then, Alberni Valley capitalized on a Rivermen turnover, as Jeff Rose tied it up with his first of the season.

Both teams had chances in overtime and double overtime but were unable to convert, settling for the single point.

“A lot of quick transitions in overtime,” Rivermen forward Marcus Vela said. “If you back-check and take the guy, there’s an odd man rush and a lot of great opportunities for us but we just couldn’t capitalize.”

 

Rivermen 6, Coquitlam Express 1

The Rivermen scored five times in the first period of Saturday’s game, as they steamrolled the Express 6-1 on Trick or Suite Night.

Langley scored five times in the first period, including two from captain Kevan Kilistoff, who led the charge with a team-high three points.

“Our lines clicked really well,” Rivermen assistant coach Kurt Astle said. “Killy’s [Kilistoff’s] line paved the way and others followed suit. It was fun to watch; we shared the puck, went hard on the forecheck and stayed out of the box. During the week we focused on a lot of moving and shooting and it was nice to see it translate tonight.”

“We made a few changes in our lineup,” said Langley forward Evan Anderson, who scored a goal and added an assist. “We kept the same game plan but this time we got some bounces and it was nice to see pucks go in.”

Anderson got things started for the Rivermen 89 seconds in, as he finished off a nice feed from Kilistoff to make it 1-0 Langley.

Four more goals in the opening frame, including two on the power play, gave the Rivermen a commanding 5-0 lead after the first period.

It didn’t take long for the new additions to the lineup to chip in as newly acquired Ben Butcher assisted on both of Kilistoff’s goals as the two seemed to gel real well.

“I was little nervous coming into tonight,” said Butcher. “I wanted to show well, it was nice to score early and things were clicking so it just made it pretty easy to fit in.”

Recently acquired defenseman Charlie Pelnik also got in on the party, netting home his first of the season as the Rivermen led 6-0 after 40 minutes.

The Express scored their lone goal on the power play early in the third period as Brett Supinski beat Bo Didur, who stopped 32 of 33 shots in the win.

“I was pretty frustrated with myself up in Salmon Arm last weekend,” Didur said.

“Today, we got an early cushion which allowed me to get settled in and play my game instead of worrying about the team scoring.”

“We wanted to make sure we got back to our game,” said Astle. “We got in hard on the forecheck, pushed the pace and outworked them.”

Aside from Kilstoff, Butcher and Evan Anderson having multi-point games, forwards Gage Torrel, Hunter Anderson and Justin Szeto also had two point nights.

Trick or Suite Night saw hundreds of kids dressed in costumes through the doors as they trick or treated up at the LEC Suite Level during the first and second intermission. Candy was provided by Sticky’s Candy and Pumpkins from Aldor Acres.

The previous weekend, the Rivermen were dealt a big blow to their back end when Jake Zeleznikar went down in the first period in Trail and ended up with a broken femur.

He will miss the remainder of the season.

“Anytime you lose a defenceman, it’s difficult,” Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson said. “We’re lucky with our staff, we have a pretty good roster of guys identified that can step in and play.”

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