Rough weekend for Langley Rivermen
Mario Puskarich may have been super over the weekend, but it did not translate very well into results for the Langley Rivermen.
The Rivermen's leading scorer was in on seven of his team's 10 goals during a three-game stretch — earning the BCHL's player of the week honours — but the junior A hockey club only managed to pick up two of six points.
Langley split a home-and-home series with the Surrey Eagles — Surrey won 5-3 on Friday at South Surrey Arena before the Rivermen took the rematch 6-5 on Saturday at the Langley Events Centre — and lost 3-1 to the Coquitlam Express at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex on Sunday afternoon.
Langley has just two wins in their past seven games as they sit in the basement of the BCHL's Mainland Division with a 7-7-0-2 record.
The weekend began with poorly for the Rivermen on Friday night in Surrey as the Eagles dominated for the first 50 minutes, with Michael Stenerson, Colton Mackie and Brady Shaw with two helping them to a 4-0 lead.
Nine seconds after the 4-0 lead, Mitch McLain finally got the Rivermen on the board, banging home a rebound.
Mark Whiteley and McLain then scored a pair of power-play goals to cut the deficit to a single goal, but Mason Blacklock added a late empty-net goal to seal the victory.
The rematch began much better for the Rivermen as they raced out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Tanner Clarkson — whom Langley traded for by sending defenceman Valik Chichkin to Trail — McLain and Puskarich tallied for the Rivermen while Blacklock responded for the Eagles.
After Jordan Klimek cut the lead to 3-2, Matt Ustaski's power-play goal restored the two-goal Langley advantage.
And after Demico Hannoun and Trevor Cameron pulled the Eagles level, Puskarich gave Langley the lead for good 70 seconds before intermission.
Puskarich completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 43 seconds remaining, and that proved huge as Blacklock got one back for Surrey with seven seconds to go.
And playing their third game in less than 72 hours, the Rivermen could not muster much offensively.
Puskarich had the lone Langley goal, but it did not come until the third period when his team was already trailing 3-0.
John Siemer, Justin Georgeson and Mitch Nardi had the Coquitlam goals.
Langley is back in action with a pair of home games on Nov. 1 and 2 against Surrey and Prince George, respectively, at the LEC. Both have 7:15 p.m. puck drops.