Sports

Rivermen rally to slow Express

Coquitlam Express forward Travis Stephens bears down on Langley Rivermen goaltender James Barr on a breakaway during BCHL action at the Poirier Sports Complex. Barr made this save, one of 28 on the night, as the Rivermen rallied for a 4-2 victory. - Elaine Fleury
Coquitlam Express forward Travis Stephens bears down on Langley Rivermen goaltender James Barr on a breakaway during BCHL action at the Poirier Sports Complex. Barr made this save, one of 28 on the night, as the Rivermen rallied for a 4-2 victory.
— image credit: Elaine Fleury

Jakob Reichert's highlight reel goal snapped a 2-2 tie and send the Langley Rivermen to victory.

During a third-period power play — and with less than seven minutes remaining — Reichert gathered the puck at the Langley blue-line, split a pair of Coquitlam Express defenders with a pretty deke and roofed the puck over the shoulder of goalie Cole Huggins.

And that would stand as the winner in a 4-2 victory after Mario Puskarich scored into the empty net.

The victory was on Friday night at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre in Coquitlam and it puts the Rivermen three points clear of the Express for the fourth and final playoff spot in the BCHL's Mainland Division. Langley also has four games in hand on Coquitlam.

James Barr finished with 28 save, including a clutch stop late in regulation with Langley hanging on to the one-goal lead.

Adam Rossignol and Ben Israel had the home side up 2-0 after 20 minutes, but that all changed in a 35-second span in the middle stanza.

On the first goal, Trevor Cope fed Matt Ustaski from behind the net to get the Rivermen on the board. And then after an Express penalty, Puskarich set up Evan Campbell at the side of the net and Campbell made a power move to the backhand and rifled home the equalizer.

"Our guys kept focused and they did what they needed to do," said Langley coach and general manager Bobby Henderson.

"They clawed back in and it was a solid win all-around."

The fact the team had multiple players playing well also impressed Henderson.

"A couple of different guys stepped up," he said.

The win was the fifth in the past seven games for Langley and the third straight away from home. Prior to that, the Rivermen had just two wins in 16 games away from the confines of home.

Up next for the squad is a busy stretch where they will play three games in three days.

The Rivermen host Salmon Arm on Friday (Jan. 25) and Trail on Sunday at the Langley Events Centre. The first game is at 7:15 p.m. while the latter is a 2 p.m. matinee. Sandwiched in between is a visit on Jan. 26 to the South Surrey Arena to race the Surrey Eagles.

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