Week Wrap Up:
Yes, you read that right..back to back overtime wins. For those that don’t know, overtime has been a love hate relationship for the Rivermen so far this season. More hate than love, but when it shifts to love, its worth it.
2-1 win over Chilliwack (2nd OT)
Rivermen entered Last Saturdays back end of a home and home series with Chilliwack that saw them hand the Riv a 6-0 loss. Fast forward to puck drop the next night at The Lodge where the Riv controlled the entire game up until a late penalty saw Chilliwack tie the game late in the third.
“as a sports fan, let alone a coach, this is what you play the game for. Adversity, a little drama, someone to play hero and someone to play spoiler, we’ve been here too often to not have figured it out. We talked about it and worked on it in practice we knew we earned this one.” Said Associate Coach Chris Shaw.
The start of overtime saw the Chiefs get away on a 2 on 1 up ice and a hard back check from Captain Brendan Budy forced a turnover the other way. Spencer Berry took the puck up ice before putting a perfect pass on Sean Gulkas stick for the well earned and well deserved goal by the send year forward. Fleming turned aside 28 of the 29 shots he faced including a couple of big one late in the game.
5-2 win over Coquitlam
Thursday night saw the Express come across the bridge to face off at The Lodge. The Riv got off to a slow start seeing the Express jump off to a 1-0 lead at the end of a PP after the first period, but once the puck dropped in the second it was a different team. Scoring 2 goals in less than 2 minutes Tanner Versus and Eric Butte got the Riv rolling before Ethan Leyh and Brendan Budy would score in the last 2 minutes of the period. Both of which on coming the Power Play. Daneel Lategan would find the back of the net late in the third giving the Riv a 5-2 win. Fleming would stop 23 of 25 for the win.
4-2 loss to Wenatchee
Last time these two teams met was at the showcase earlier in the season where Wenatchee got the best of the Rivermen winning that one 4-0. Both teams very different now and it was shown early. Brady Berger just 39 seconds in off a far pad shot by Wojciechowski gave the early lead and just 4 minutes after that Angus Crookshank snapped a 3 game pointless skid with his 13th goal of the season chasing net minder Seth Eisele. Unfortunatley they did not keep up that pace, getting only 4 shots on goal in the second and 5 in the third wouldn’t be enough against a very good and veteran Wenatchee Wild team.
Again we caught up with Chris Shaw to get his thoughts on that next game against Nanaimo.
With a game 16 hours later, with such a turnaround facing a hot Nanaimo Clippers team, how did you guys prepare the team to play that Sunday afternoon?
“A lot of it is on us, I know Bobby, Stef, and myself were up late cutting video and learning from the Wenachee game, figuring out our lineup and the different looks we wanted. At the end of the day we just wanted to replicate our first period from the night before, we know we are capable of it and so do the guys in the room, we just needed to make sure we instilled that determination, and the boys had to come ready to play, we knew if we did our part and they did theirs we would be successful”
2-1 win over Nanaimo (2nd OT)
The Riv cam out fast they cam out hard, but maybe a little too much as we would play the first 4 of 5 minutes of the period on the PK for a tripping and high sticking infractions. But with 7 minutes to go Spencer Berry made a great breakout pass that was just barley touch and redirected by Angus Crookshank to spring Ethan Leyh and Trevor St. Jean on a 2 on 1 and with a brilliant feed by Leyh, St. Jean had a gaping cage to put the puck into and snap a skid of his own. Early in the 2nd period a scary play saw a pile up right onto of Chad Cromar in his crease and he would have to leave the game with the score 1-1. Braedon Fleming came in and was great stoping all 19 pucks his saw. The rest of the game would see some good back and forth action but would eventually see us set up in another overtime game. Half way through that overtime frame a resilient forecheck by Sean Gulka sprung the puck free on a won battle down low to find Collin Bernard all alone in the slot where everyone in the arena yelled ‘SHOOT” but his brain said ‘pass’…to a wide open St. Jean backdoor to give the team the win.
That win would extend the Rivermen’s lead atop the Mainland Division with a 4 point lead over the Surrey Eagles for first place. Leading into a pivotal matchup this upcoming weekend against the Eagles. The Rivermen now sit at 13-5-0-9 which puts them 3rd place in the BCHL Overall Standings.
The Rivermen take on the Surrey Eagles this weekend in a home and home series that takes place Friday and Saturday. Join us Saturday at The Lodge 7pm. Tickets available at the box office.