Riverman Max Kaufman lines up a shot during Saturday night action at George Preston.

VIDEO: Langley Rivermen clinch playoff berth

Team posts eighth home ice win in a row at The Lodge

  • Sun Jan 29th, 2017 9:00am
  • Sports

Max Kaufman may be riding a seven-game goal-scoring streak, but he is quick to deflect credit.

“The more important stat is our record in those games,” he pointed out.

And that’s true: Kaufman may have found the back of the net seven straight games — he has 10 goals and 15 points in that span — but what really matters is the fact the Langley Rivermen have won all seven of those contests.

The junior A hockey club has actually won eight straight games and the Rivermen are an eye-popping 15-1-0-2 in their last 18 games.

Langley added three more victories to their total last week: thumping the BCHL-leading Wenatchee Wild 7-1 on Jan. 25 at the George Preston Recreation Centre before posting a 6-1 win over the Surrey Eagles the next night at the South Surrey Arena and then returning home for a 5-1 win over the Coquitlam Express on Saturday.

The results improve Langley to 25-15-5-2 on the season and the team has a firm grip on third place in the BCHL’s Mainland Division with an 11-point lead over fourth place Prince George with 11 games to play.

“The main thing is everybody is healthy and the lines are starting to click and the guys are getting comfortable,” said Kaufman, who scored five goals over the three games.

Playing on a line with Gavin Payne and Zac Masson, the trio has 19 goals and 20 assists during the Rivermen’s eight-game winning streak.

It also helps that Langley is getting contributions up and down the line-up — 11 players scored at least one goal over the past three games — and both goaltenders have been solid in net.

Against Wenatchee — the lone BCHL team with single digit regulation losses with just eight in 48 games — Bo Didur stopped 43 of 44 shots in the 7-1 win and Langley scored four times in the middle frame to break open a 1-1 game.

Ryan Barrow (two goals, one assist) and Payne (two goals) each had multi-point games while Nicholas Ponak, Kaufman and Andrew Dumaresque had a goal and an assist apiece.

Kaufman (two goals, one assist) and John Schuldt (one goal, two assists) has three-point nights while Sean Gulka, Eric Butte and Barrow had a goal apiece the next night in the 6-1 win over the Eagles.

McKay Flanagan, Cooper Leitch and Brendan Budy had a goal apiece while Kaufman scored twice more against Coquitlam.

Braedon Fleming got the call in the other two games and delivered with 50 saves on 52 shots.

Kaufman said the team is having fun but is also focused on maintaining their level of play, all with a goal of peaking once the post-season hits next month.

The Rivermen are back in action as they host Prince George on Friday (7:15 p.m.) and Salmon Arm on Saturday (6 p.m.) at the Preston Centre.

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