Eagles continue Langley domination

Langley Rivermen
Langley Rivermen's Turner Popoff delivers a crunching hit — losing his lid in the process — during his team's 5-3 loss to the Surrey Eagles on Feb. 2 at the South Surrey Arena.
— image credit: Garrett James

The Surrey Eagles continue to have the Langley Rivermen's number.

For the sixth time in seven games, the Eagles got the better of their Langley counterparts, this time by a 5-3 score on Saturday at the South Surrey Arena in BCHL junior A hockey league action.

The game began well enough for the Rivermen as Matt Ustaski opened up the scoring, shoveling home a loose puck in front of the Surrey goal.

But the lead would not last long as on the very next shift, Nicholas Pierog beat James Barr to tie things up.

Michael Stenerson would put the Eagles up by a goal heading into the intermission and then Brady Shaw made it 3-1 nine minutes into the second.

The Rivermen would respond as Mitch McLain and Austin Azurdia pulled Langley even. McLain's goal came on a one-timer off a face-off win from Ustaski while Azurdia got away from a defender and stick-handled his way to the net and fired a puck top corner.

But on the very next shift, 33 seconds later, Brett Mulcahy picked up the pick along the boards, drove hard to the net and slid home the go-ahead score.

The Rivermen thought they had tied things up in the third period when McLain, while down on all fours after being hauled down, chipped the puck past goalie Michael Santaguida, but the referee ruled the whistle had blown prior to the puck crossing the goal-line. McLain did draw a penalty on the play, but the Rivermen power play failed to take advantage.

Trevor Cameron scored an empty-net goal with 75 seconds remaining for the 5-3 final score.

The loss was Langley's third straight as they fell to 17-19-1-5. With 40 points, the team holds a three-point cushion — with four games in hand — over the Coquitlam Express for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Mainland Division.

The Rivermen host Coquitlam on Tuesday (Feb. 5) at the Langley Events Centre. Game time is 7:15 p.m.

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