Langley Rivermen down Grizzlies, fall to ’Dawgs

Langley Rivermen
Langley Rivermen's Matt Ustaski battles with Surrey Eagles' Brent Mulcahy off a face-off during the teams' Nov. 29 game at the Langley Events Centre.
— image credit: Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times

The Langley Rivermen may not have gotten the desired result on Saturday night, but they at least laid the foundation for a victory the next afternoon to earn a weekend split on Vancouver Island.

“Saturday was a baby step and on Sunday, it was a big step forward,” said Rivermen coach Bobby Henderson.

His junior A hockey club dropped a 4-3 decision to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday night, squandering a missed penalty shot and a pair of 5-on-3 power plays in the game.

But the next afternoon in Victoria, Langley was good from the opening whistle and delivered a 5-1 win over the Grizzlies.

“(James) Barr made a couple of key saves early and the guys fed on that and built from there,” Henderson said.

“After that, we carried the play the whole game.”

The victory ended a five-game losing streak for Langley.

Mario Puskarich scored twice, while James Robinson, Evan Anderson and Austin Azurdia had the other goals for Langley.

Barr made 34 saves and only gave up the one goal.

The previous game in Port Alberni saw the Rivermen fall behind 20 seconds into the contest and then 3-0 just three minutes in.

Nathan Craft — acquired earlier in the week from Alberni Valley — and Puskarich pulled Langley even after one period.

The teams traded goals in the second, with Cope scoring for the Rivermen, before the Bulldogs went ahead for good later in the period.

The third period was all about missed opportunity as Langley missed a penalty shot and could not convert on either two-man advantage opportunity.

Langley is 10-12-0-4 on the season.

The team is on the road for a pair of games this weekend, Friday in Trail and Saturday against West Kelowna.

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