What the Langley Rivermen have been doing in January is impressive to say the least.
The junior A squad ran its win streak to six games on Wednesday, and did so with a profound exclamation mark.
The ’Men blew out the visiting Wenatchee Wild 7-1 at the George Preston Recreation Centre (GPRC).
This is the same Wild team that’s not only perched on top of the B.C. Hockey League’s Mainland Division, but owns the league’s best record at 35-7-4.
The Rivermen sit third in the Mainland with a 23-15-5-2 mark.
During their hot streak, the Rivermen haven’t just been eking out victories.
Consider this: since losing 8-1 to Chilliwack on Jan. 7 (their only loss of the month), the Rivermen have been on fire, going undefeated while outscoring their collective opposition 36-13.
They’ve been scoring an average of six goals per game during that span.
“I think part of it is getting healthy bodies again,” Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson said, about the streak, “and guys figuring out the league, the ins and outs, and they are playing confident. The one thing that has really showed over the last couple of weeks is our team speed, top to bottom.”
Henderson said the increase in the goals-for department is a byproduct of following the system and sticking to the team’s system.
“All season long we’ve preached defence-first,” he said. “We have a relatively young back end. The biggest difference now is, they feel like they can shut down any line.”
On Wednesday, the Rivermen scored the only four goals of the second period to turn a 1-1 tie into a 5-1 lead.
They tacked on two more markers in the third period to win easily.
Ryan Barrow led the way with two goals and an assist while Gavin Payne added a pair for the home team. Max Kaufman, Andrew Dumaresque, and Nicholas Ponak added singles for the Rivermen.
Rivermen goalie Bo Didur stifled the Wild, the BCHL’s top scoring team by a mile, by stopping 37 of 38 shots.
The Rivermen will look to make it seven wins in a row tonight (Thursday) when they visit South Surrey Arena to take on the Eagles.
Fans will get another chance to see the Rivermen in action Saturday when they host the Coquitlam Express at the GPRC. Game time is 6 p.m.
Both the Eagles and Express are struggling this year but the Rivermen aren’t taking them lightly.
“These guys want to play spoiler,” Henderson said. “We are a close proximity rival to them, so we expect them to always bring their ‘A’ game.”