Rivermen road trip a success

Langley uses strong third periods to defeat Trail, Salmon Arm

  • Mon Jan 16th, 2017 11:00am
  • Sports

A five-goal third period helped the Langley Rivermen cap off a perfect two-game road trip.

Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes, the junior A hockey club scored five of the final six goals to defeat the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Rivermen won by that identical score the day before in Trail against the Smoke Eaters.

Langley has won three of their past four games and 10 of their previous 11 to improve to 19-15-5-2 and their 45 points have them in third place in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.

“Guys are starting to figure it out and know how hard they have to compete every night,” said Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson.

“They are playing pretty confident and things are going pretty good.”

Langley’s strong run over the past six weeks prompted Henderson — who doubles as the team’s general manager — to stand pat at last week’s trade deadline.

“We like what our guys have been doing,” he explained, adding that having everyone back to full health has also been key.

Both weekend victories required some third-period heroics.

In Trail, McKay Flanagan broke a 3-3 tie in the first minute of the final frame with Gavin Payne adding an insurance marker and an empty-net goal for the 6-3 final.

Both players had three point games and Cooper Leitch, John Schuldt and Brendan Budy tallying the other goals.

Saturday night saw the team down 2-1 after 40 minutes before exploding offensively.

Sean Gulka had given Langley a 1-0 lead after one before Salmon Arm scored twice in the middle frame.

“They came out determined (in the third); I don’t think anyone was overly happy with how we played in the first two periods,” Henderson said.

“We played well defensively but didn’t generate a whole lot. We came out inspired in the third.”

Max Kaufman scored twice in the final 20 minutes with Francis Boie, Andrew Dumaresque and Schuldt had the others.

Braedon Fleming was in goal for both victories, stopping 37 shots each night.

Since joining the team, he is 4-1-0-0 with a 2.61 goals against average and a .924 save percentage.

The Rivermen are back in action this weekend, playing Friday night in Coquitlam before hosting Chilliwack on Saturday (6 p.m.) and Powell River on Sunday (2 p.m.) at the George Preston Recreation Centre.