Series down to best-of-three between Langley, Surrey

Langley Rivermen
Langley Rivermen's Evan Anderson carries the puck into the attacking zone during game two of the team's best-of-seven semifinal series versus the Surrey Eagles. The teams have alternated wins so far heading into game five.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

It is down to a best-of-three as the Langley Rivermen and Surrey Eagles have alternated victories in the first four games of the best-of-seven BCHL Mainland Division semifinal series.

The Rivermen won games one and three by scores of 4-2 and 6-3, respectively. But both times, Surrey responded with a 4-3 win in game two and then a 7-5 victory on Saturday to even the series at two games apiece.

The series switched back to the Langley Events Centre for game five on Monday (March 10) and the two teams will be back on the ice at the South Surrey Arena on Tuesday (March 11) with one of the teams having the chance to clinch the series and advance to the Mainland Division finals.

“It is going to take us playing to our potential,” said Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson about what is was going to take to close out the series.

“As a group, we haven’t been good enough. With the exception of one game, we haven’t played to our potential.”

Game one saw the Rivermen score a pair of quick goals 11 seconds apart in the second period to take the lead for good.

They were leading early in the third period of game two, but gave up a pair of goals for the loss.

In game three, their offence came to life as they were up 6-1 before Surrey scored a couple of late goals.

Henderson was encouraged that the team’s offence showed some glimpses in that game.

“We were getting pucks through, lots of traffic, sharing the puck with their line-mates,” he explained.

But in game four, the team was done in by a poor start.

“I thought we just weren’t ready to play the first 20. You give up a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the game, it is tough to battle,” he said.

“Give them credit, they didn’t quit. (But) the preparation wasn’t there.”

Matt Ustaski has paced the Rivermen attack and leading all BCHL scorers with nine points. He has six goals and has scored in all four games.

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