Effort there for Rivermen, but results still hard to come by

Langley Rivermen’s Logan Smith impedes Penticton Vees’ Louie Nanne during the Vees’ 5-1 victory at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Saturday night. - Joe Fries/Black Press
Langley Rivermen’s Logan Smith impedes Penticton Vees’ Louie Nanne during the Vees’ 5-1 victory at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Saturday night.
— image credit: Joe Fries/Black Press

While a coach will never be happy with one out of a possible four points, Bobby Henderson chooses to look on the bright side.

"It was a better weekend than the results (showed)," said the coach and general manager of the Langley Rivermen.

He was referring to a 6-5 double overtime loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday and a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Penticton Vees. Both games were on the road, where Langley has struggled all year with a 2-11-0-3 record in B.C. Hockey League play.

In the first game, the Rivermen squandered a 3-0 lead while in the latter, they fell behind quickly before playing better, he said.

"Looking back, we out-chanced them 33-9, Grade A scoring chances," he lamented about the Trail game.

"Let's just say, we scored enough to win that game."

Against the Vees, the team surrendered a "cheesy goal" and the Vees then struck for a couple more quick ones and it was 3-0.

One positive, Henderson said, was the fact his team played better after that and won the third period, 1-0.

"The effort was there," he said.

"We just needed another save or two."

Trail 6 Langley 5

The Rivermen had a great start to Friday's game at the Cominco Arena as Mark Whiteley and Mario Puskarich put the visitors ahead 2-0 after 20 minutes and 45 seconds into the second, Evan Campbell made it a three-goal advantage.

And even after Garrett McMullen and Bennett Hambrook cut the lead to 3-2, Langley looked to be in good shape as Campbell potted his second of the period — and fourth point of the game — with 44 seconds to go before intermission.

But the third period saw the hosts outscore Langley 3-1with Trevor Cope tallying the lone Langley marker.

And then 46 seconds into double overtime, Braden Pears earned the home side the extra point, burying the winner on a three-on-one after Langley failed to capitalize on their two-on-one break.

James Barr took the loss, but did come up with a massive save on a penalty shot off of Garrett McMullen with less than five minutes to go in the third period and the score tied at five.

Penticton 5 Langley 1

The Vees score three times in the opening period and then twice more in the second to build a comfortable lead at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Viktor Dombrvskiy had the lone Langley marker, scoring early in the third period.

The good news for the Rivermen is they play three games this weekend — and four of the next five to close the month — at the Langley Events Centre, where the team sports a sparkling 8-2-0-2 record.

The Rivermen host Coquitlam on Friday — the game is also Teddy Bear Toss, where fans are asked to litter the ice with stuffed animals following Langley's first goal — Chilliwack on Saturday, with both games beginning at 7:15 p.m.

They wrap up the weekend with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. against the Powell River Kings.

The game will be the team's final contest until Dec. 28.

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