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Langley Rivermen battle for OT points against Spruce Kings, host Vipers tonight

Langley’s BCHL squad has only suffered three regulation losses in 21 games

The Langley Rivermen worked double overtime two nights in a row, in a pair of hard-fought road losses to the Prince George Spruce Kings last weekend.

The Spruce Kings tripped up the Rivermen 4-3 in double OT Friday at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena in Prince George.

On Saturday, the Rivermen once again earned a single point in a 2-1 double OT loss to the host Spruce Kings.

“They competed hard,” Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson said. “They had to come-from-behind the first night but managed to work their way back into it, there, to get a point.”

Even with the two losses, the Rivermen came away with two points and continue to lead the BCHL’s Mainland Division with a 10-3-8 record going into tonight’s (Nov. 7) home game against the Vernon Vipers.

A positive takeaway from the weekend is that the Rivermen managed to take both games into overtime, and have only suffered three regulation losses more than a third of the way into the regular season.

“I think we’ve been playing some great hockey,” Henderson said. “It’s a tough trip going up there, a tough place to play in a small rink and they (the Spruce Kings) are accustomed to playing there.”

Playing in close contests has become second nature for the Rivermen. Going into tonight’s contest, their goal differential is a plus-three (67 goals for, 64 against).

“We’re a defensive-minded team for sure,” Henderson said, “but we’re a team that’s set to break out offensively. We’re getting pretty good production, but we haven’t had all four lines produce (at the same time) yet. It’s just a matter of time. I see flashes of it, it’s a matter of seeing it consistently.”

Brar bites Rivermen in OT

On Saturday, Prince George’s Ben Brar scored the winner 41 seconds into the three-on-three second overtime period.

Langley’s Trevor St. Jean opened the scoring 5:46 into the opening period, and the visitors held onto their 1-0 lead until the 7:37 mark of the final frame.

That’s when Ben Poisson tied the score on a Spruce Kings power play.

The game remained scoreless the rest of the way, leading up to Brar’s game-winner.

Both goaltenders had strong games, with Prince George’s Evan DeBrouwer stopping 33 of 34 shots and the Rivermen’s Chad Cromar making 31 saves. They were named first, and second stars of the game, respectively.

Comeback earns point

On Friday, the Rivermen erased a 3-1 deficit with goals 21 seconds apart at the midway point of the third period, only to lose in the second overtime period.

Poisson found the net 2:48 into double OT to lift the Spruce Kings to victory.

The Rivermen showed some moxy in the third frame by battling back from two goals down, with captain Brendan Budy and defenceman Derek Hamelin (with his first of the campaign) scoring to tie the game at 3-3.

Angus Crookshank scored a first-period goal for the Rivermen, who trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes.

The Spruce Kings scored the only goal of the second stanza.

The Rivermen will look to earn the full two points tonight (Tuesday) against the Vipers at the George Preston Recreation Centre.

Opening puck drop is 7 p.m.

Langley then plays a home-and-home weekend series with the Chilliwack Chiefs, with the teams meeting Friday in Chilliwack and again Saturday (Nov. 11) at the GPRC. Both of those games get underway at 7 p.m.

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