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Huge third period leads Riv past Spruce Kings

Township of Langley (January 3, 2016)- The Langley Rivermen were looking to carry their strong play at the Langley Events Centre into the new year. The team ended 2015 with three straight home wins and welcomed the Prince George Spruce Kings to the LEC on Sunday afternoon for the fourth game in the season series. Coming into the contest, the Rivermen had three straight wins against their Mainland Division rival. Bo Didur started in net for the Rivermen, while Liam McCloskey played between the pipes for the visiting Spruce Kings.

The Rivermen opened the scoring on the power play courtesy of Matty Saharchuk at 11:39. Jason O’Neill made a great play in front of the net with a no-look backhand feed to a streaking Saharchuk, who made no mistake scoring his 14th goal of the year. Just over three minutes later, O’Neill made it a 2-0- game, as he took a perfect pass behind the net from Zac Masson and flicked it over the shoulder of McCloskey for his fourth of the year. Trevor Ayre started the play and received the secondary helper on the play. With less than two minutes to play, PG defenseman Adam Burnett got his team on the board with a quick shot from the slot that beat Didur blocker side. After 20 minutes, the Rivermen led the game 2-1 and had the shot lead at 12-9.

After a scoreless second period, the Rivermen broke out in the final frame in a big way. Defenseman Will Campion got the scoring started again with a wrap-around goal at the 59 second mark. Max Kaufman and Justin Szeto earned the assists on Campion’s fifth goal of the campaign. Just before the 10 minute mark, Captain Jordan Schneider buried his first goal of the season to make it a 4-1 game. Matthew Graham and Campion did great work to get the puck to Schneider coming off of the left point and fired a perfectly placed wrist-shot beneath the blocker of McCloskey. At the 12:34 mark, Max Kaufman capitalized on a PG turnover in the neutral zone to make it a four goal advantage for the home team. The speedy winger  turned on the jets crossing the centre ice line and after beating a Spruce Kings defender down the left-wing, snapped a shot to the top left corner. Adam Sinclair had the lone assist on Kaufman’s 12th of the season. After Troy Ring scored 19 seconds later to make it a 6-1 score, at the 15:48 mark of the period, Ryan Barrow capped off the scoring with his third goal of the year.

A five goal outburst in the final frame turned out to be the difference in the game for the Rivermen. The defense led the charge with three of the five goals, in particular Campion, who chipped in with a goal and an assist in the third. In total, 11 players recorded at least one point on the afternoon.

With the win, the Riv swept all four games at the LEC and are now 4-0 against Prince George in the season series. The last three head to head matchups will all take place at the Prince George Coliseum beginning on January 21.

The Rivermen remain in third place in the Mainland Division with a 22-14-0-1 record for 45 points and will play against top seed Chilliwack at Prospera Centre on Wednesday, January 6 at 7:00pm.

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