Langley Rivermen persevere, edge Surrey Eagles in double OT

Langley juniors won their third straight game, but it wasn’t easy.

The Langley Rivermen are having an outstanding season.

The Langley Rivermen just wouldn’t go away Thursday night at South Surrey Arena.

The ’Men erased a two-goal deficit early in the third period before eventually downing the host Surrey Eagles 5-4 in double overtime.

Max Kaufman’s 26th of the season, scored 3:02 into the second overtime period period, lifted the Langley junior A hockey team to its 28th win of the season.

A power play tally off the stick of defenceman Cameron Ginnetti with 4:05 to play in regulation evened the score at four goals apiece and sent the game into overtime.

The Eagles built leads of 3-1 after two periods and 4-2 early in the third frame, but the Rivermen kept up the pressure, clawing to within a goal, at 4-3, at the 7:51 mark of the final period when Eric Butte notched his 11th of the season.

Langley opened the scoring with Nicholas Ponak’s 20th of the season 12:31 into the opening period.

Surrey’s Desi Burgart tied the game with 1:41 to go before the first intermission.

Despite being outshot 13-5 in the second period, the Eagles put two unanswered goals on the board through the middle 20 minutes of play to move ahead by a pair.

Sean Gulka then brought the Rivermen to within a goal 3:37 into the third period, but Surrey’s Jeffrey Stewart restored his team’s two-goal lead 1:50 later.

The Rivermen will try to extend their latest win streak to four games on Saturday when the travel to Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre to play the powerhouse Chiefs.

The Chiefs enter the game with a 36-10-5 record and hold down second place in the B.C. Hockey League’s Mainland Division, 14 points up on the third place Rivermen (28-16-5-2).

Chilliwack is also bearing down on the division-leading Wenatchee Wild. The Washington State squad remains on top of the division with a 38-8-4 mark.

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