If the Langley Rivermen could bottle their performance against the Coquitlam Express Saturday night at the George Preston Recreation Centre – and then bring that kind of firepower to the rink night after night – they’d be a B.C. Hockey League titan.
If only it was that easy.
And if only the Rivermen could finally get completely healthy.
The ’Men sandwiched a dominating, 5-0 win over the Express between an OT loss and loss last weekend.
They earned a point in a 5-4 overtime loss to that same Express squad Friday in the opener of their home-and-home series, and then, on the heels of Saturday’s impressive win, dropped a 5-2 decision to the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters Sunday afternoon at the GPRC.
Decimated by injuries to veterans and key skaters, the ’Men are 3-6-1-1 and sit alone in fourth in the Mainland Division.
“More of the same,” Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson said. “It was a gutsy performance to get three points out of six this weekend. We had six regulars out of the lineup Sunday and five Friday and Saturday. Our affiliates stepped up and contributed but we ran out of gas on Sunday. We were down to five ‘D’ and four regulars on the back end. We came out well but we were running on fumes at the finish line.”
Coquitlam Express 5, Rivermen 2
The Rivermen saw two points slip through their fingers Friday when the Express’s Luca Leone forced the game to overtime by scoring with 20 seconds left.
Leone then set up the game-winner by Mitch Newsome.
Rivermen 5, Coquitlam Express 0
On Saturday, the Rivermen got goals from five skaters, while goaltender Bo Didur made 19 saves to earn the victory.
Harris Pearce scored his first BCHL goal for the Rivermen during the victory.
Trail Smoke Eaters 5, Rivermen 2
The Smoke Eaters, who trailed 2-0 after the first period and 2-1 after 40 minutes of play, scored four unanswered goals during the third period to earn the win Sunday.
Bradley Ong, with his first BCHL tally, and Nicholas Ponak scored in the opening frame to give the hosts a two-goal lead.
The Rivermen hit the road Wednesday when they travel down the Coquihalla for a date with the Penticton Vees at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Then, the Men are back at the GPRC Friday, when they host the Vees at 7:15 p.m.
On Saturday, the Rivermen host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, with a 6 p.m. opening puck drop at the GPRC.
FINAL BUZZER: The Mainland is already a two-team horse race. The Wenatchee Wild lead with eight wins and a tie, and are two points up on the Chilliwack Chiefs (7-3-1).