Sports

Staying alive

Langley Rivermen forward Tyson Witala is congratulated by his teammates after putting his team ahead 3-1 in game five of the BCHL Mainland Division finals on March 20. The Rivermen won to extend the series to a sixth game. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Langley Rivermen forward Tyson Witala is congratulated by his teammates after putting his team ahead 3-1 in game five of the BCHL Mainland Division finals on March 20. The Rivermen won to extend the series to a sixth game.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

The Langley Rivermen staved off elimination in game five of the BCHL Mainland Division finals with a decisive 5-2 victory.

The Rivermen were hosting the Coquitlam Express at the Langley Events Centre on March 20.

Langley now trails three games to two in the best-of-seven playoff series.

"I thought they played with a little more confidence, they asserted themselves offensively," Henderson said.

"They got on them physically and created some turnovers off of it. And they capitalized on their chances, that was the main thing."

The Rivermen never trailed and out-shot the Express 51-24, including 22-5 over the final 20 minutes.

Will Cook and Gage Torrel scored in the first period, with the Express' Ryan Rosenthal scoring a short-handed goal in between.

The second period saw Tyson Witala make it 3-1.

And the final minute saw Coquitlam come close to scoring as their shot attempt hit the post and lay there in the crease momentarily before the Rivermen cleared the puck.

Tanner Johnson then went the other way, scoring a highlight reel goal with 24 seconds to play. So instead of going into the locker room potentially down 3-2, the Express trailed 4-1.

Zach Hodder's scored from the slot to make it 4-2 4:55 into the third, but less than two minutes later, Jakob Reichert restored the three-goal advantage.

Torrel finished with a goal and an assist while Mitch McLain had two assists for the Rivermen.

Brock Crossthwaite made 22 saves.

"Basically, we are not looking past this game," Henderson said about what he told his team before the game.

"Obviously the series is what it is (and) tonight, we were just focused on winning period by period.

"Just keep it simple and go from there."

Game six of the series is March 21 at Coquitlam's Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

"We are playing for our lives and they will be up in their building," Henderson said.

"We will have to be up for it early and throw it all against the wall."

Should the Rivermen win, game seven would be March 22 at the LEC.

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