Sports

Puskarich nets hat trick, Rivermen double up PG

Langley Rivermen
Langley Rivermen's Mario Puskarich (far right) had a hat trick against the Prince George Spruce Kings on Feb. 14 to lead his team to a 6-3 victory.
— image credit: Garrett James file photo

Mario Puskarich scored three times as the Langley Rivermen set a new franchise single season mark for victories with their 20th 'W' of the campaign.

The junior A hockey club was in Prince George to face the Spruce Kings on Feb. 14 at the Prince George Coliseum.

Puskarich scored his first two goals on the power play before Mitch McLain made it 3-0 before intermission.

And that would be more than enough offence for goaltender James Barr, who finished with 46 saves as Prince George out-shot Langley 49-22.

Langley's Evan Campbell and Prince George's Bryant Christian traded second period goals before McLain and Puskarich scored four minutes apart in the third period to put the game out of reach.

The Spruce Kings' Cameron Lawson and Stephen Penner tacked on late goals to make it a 6-3 final.

Mark Whiteley also had a solid game finishing with four assists.

With his three goals, Puskarich pulled ahead in both the BCHL goal-scoring race — he has 34 — as well as the points race, as he has 69 points.

The win improved Langley  to 20-21-1-5 on the season and gives them a five-point cushion — with two games in hand — on Coquitlam for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Mainland Division. Langley also has a game in hand on Prince George as the Spruce Kings hold a six-point lead for third spot.

The Rivermen have nine games remaining in the regular season.

The team plays Prince George again on the road on Feb. 15 before hosting Nanaimo on Feb. 17 at the Langley Events Centre. Game time is 2 p.m.

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