It’s amazing what a week can do in Junior Hockey and Saturday night at the Lodge was another example as to why the Junior product is on the map for providing fans the most exciting brand the game has to offer.
It was the first meeting of the season between the Rivermen and the Surrey Eagles. Each team early on hasn’t exactly had the start they want and another important 2 points were up for grabs.
Langley and Surrey would exchange multiple chances throughout the opening frame and with time ticking down in the first 20, Langley would get on the board when Eric Butte was sent on a partial breakaway and he snuck the backhand past Eagle’s goaltender Michael Botiz making it 1-0 into the first intermission for the Riv.
The 2nd period had just as much to offer and both goalies, Bo Didur and Botiz were spectacular. Late in the middle frame it was the Rivermen who were able to find the back of the net when Ryan Barrow intercepted in the offensive zone and found Brendan Budy with a pass to make it 2-0 heading to the final frame of regulation.
Out of the gate in the 3rd period, Surrey would storm back with 2 quick goals and tie things up at 2-2. The tide would turn quickly when a spirited affair between Sean Gulka and Dario Piva really seemed to spark the Rivermen.
On the ensuing faceoff, Andrew Dumaresque would win it cleanly to Nic Ponak who had a quick release and caught Botiz off guard to redeem the lead 3-2.
Surrey would throw everything and the kitchen sink it seemed, but they weren’t able to solve Didur and Langley would hold on for their 5th win of the year. The win puts the Rivermen in 4th spot in the Mainland Division.
The 2 teams will do battle 2 more straight times this week beginning Thursday in Surrey and Friday back at the Lodge. Thursday’s game is a 6:30PM puck drop and Friday is 7:15PM.
It will be a special night on Friday that the Rivermen are hoping you, the fans, can help with. Each ticket sold, The Langley Rivermen are sponsoring Langley Literacy Network December Wrap-a-Read event, and for every ticket sold for the Nov 4th game they will be able to buy a new book for a child registered with the Langley Christmas Bureau.
Let’s fill the rink and support a great cause.