Langley Rivermen’s Nicholas Ponak, in front of Chilliwack Chiefs goaltender Mathieu Caron during BCHL action at the George Preston Recreation Centre on Sept. 16. Ponak scored three goals in the team’s most recent game, a 4-3 win on Sept. 21 over the Merritt Centennials. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Ponak’s hat trick paces Rivermen to victory

Langley scores twice in the third period to defeat Merritt 4-3

A short-handed marker from Nicholas Ponak — his third of the game — was the winner as the Langley Rivermen edged the Merritt Centennials.

The junior A hockey clubs were playing Thursday afternoon at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre as part of the BCHL’s Bauer Showcase.

Ponak scored an unassisted goal with 2:57 to play to snap the 3-3 tie.

Langley was trailing 3-2 after 40 minutes but captain Brendan Budy knotted the score with his fourth of the season 90 seconds into the final frame.

The Rivermen led 1-0 after one period before Merritt scored three times in the middle stanza.

The victory improves Langley to 2-0-0-2 on the season. The team is back in action on Sunday when they play the Wenatchee Wild on the final day of the league’s annual showcase event where all 17 teams play a pair of games.

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