January a good month for Rivermen
The Langley Rivermen may very well be sad to see the calendar flip from January to February this weekend.
The junior A hockey club wrapped up a near-perfect month of January by taking five of a possible six points over the weekend.
The team won 5-4 in overtime over the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday at the Langley Events Centre and then played a pair of low-scoring games on Vancouver Island, tying the Cowichan Valley Capitals 2-2 on Saturday night and then winning 2-1 over the Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon.
The Rivermen earned a point in all 10 games in the month, finishing 8-0-1-1 and improving to a BCHL Mainland Division-leading 30-12-2-5 and 67 points with nine games to go in the regular season.
The team’s .684 winning percentage also puts them second overall in the 16-team league.
And their strong showing off late has helped Langley jump from 18th last week to 10th this week in the most recent polls released by the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
The Rivermen now get a break in the schedule as they are off until a home-and-home series with the Vernon Vipers on Feb. 7 and 8.
Rivermen 5 Chiefs 4 (OT)
Overtime was short-lived as James Robinson struck on the first shot, 37 seconds into the extra period for the winner.
Austin Azurdia, Zach Urban, Jakob Reichert and Mitch McLain had the other goals, which included three on the man advantage.
Both Robinson and Azurdia finished with a goal and three helpers apiece.
The Chiefs had opened the scoring on a goal by Andrew Silard, with Kyle Westeringh, Jake Hand and Zach Diamantoni getting the others.
Langley twice battled back from one-goal deficits of 1-0 and 3-2.
Brock Crossthwaite made 25 saves for the win.
Rivermen 2 Capitals 2
Neither team could score in the 10-minute overtime period despite combining for a dozen shots, seven of which came off Rivermen sticks.
Lyndon Stanwood finished with 35 saves for Langley while Mitch McLain and Marcus Vela had the goals.
Both scores came in the third period and gave Langley a 2-1 lead but the Capitals' Daniel Wanner tied the score with 4:08 to play.
Dane Gibson, on the power play, had the other Cowichan goal.
Rivermen 2 Grizzlies 1
Reichert scored the winner with 5:25 to play as the Rivermen won despite generating just 18 shots on goal.
Jackson Wanick had opened the scoring late in the first before Victoria's Myles Fitzgerald tied the score with a power-play goal early in the second.
The game pitted two of the top 20 ranked teams in the Canadian Junior Hockey League as the Grizzlies entered the weekend ranked 10th while the Rivermen were 18th.