Whether or not the Langley Rivermen begin the BCHL playoffs at home or on the road, all rests in their hands.
The junior A hockey club won back-to-back games for the first time since late December, taking down the Penticton Vees 5-3 on Saturday night and slowing the Coquitlam Express 3-1 the following afternoon.
Both victories came at the George Preston Recreation Centre and two of the Rivermen’s final three games will be on home ice.
With the wins, Langley sits at 24-19-10-2 and their 60 points are two ahead of both the Chilliwack Chiefs and Surrey Eagles. And while Prince George has the BCHL’s Mainland Division title wrapped up, Langley can still finish anywhere between second and fourth.
All three teams battling for the second seed have three games remaining with the Rivermen visiting Coquitlam on Feb. 23 before hosting Merritt and Prince George on Feb. 24 and 25. The first two games begin at 7 p.m. while the last one is a 2 p.m. puck drop.
The Vees victory was especially impressive as Penticton is currently the top team in the entire BCHL.
But Langley raced out to a 3-0 lead and then iced the game with Brendan Budy’s empty-netter, his second goal of the game. It was part of a three-point night for the Rivermen captain.
Trevor St. Jean, Spencer Berry and Angus Crookshank had the other goals as the power play went 2-for-7.
Nicky Leiverman, Jordan Henderson and Taylor Ward had the Penticton goals.
Braedon Fleming made 42 saves for the victory and followed it up with 36 saves on 37 shots in the 3-1 win over the Express. Only a late goal from Colby Pederson with 3:15 remaining ruined his shutout bid.
Fleming’s efforts earned him honourable mention for the BCHL player of the week award.
Budy, Berry and Brady Berger had the Rivermen goals.