Township of Langley, BC (Friday, November 27, 2015) – The Langley Rivermen ran into a hot goaltender and dropped a 2-1 decision to the Merritt Centennials on Friday night. It was the first of two meetings on the season between the two out of division rivals. Nick Trencianksy started in net for the Rivermen, while Cole Kehler played for the Centennials.
After the Rivermen failed to capitalize on an early two man advantage, Merritt opened the scoring at 6:46 off the stick of Mitch Lipon. The 19 year-old was able to jump on a rebound in front of Trenciansky and bury his 6th goal of the season. The Centennials would go into the break up a goal, but were being outshot 16-7.
In the second period, Merritt scored just before the two minute mark courtesy of Ryan Forbes on the power play to make it a 2-0 game. Special teams for both sides were put to work soon after the goal, as five power plays in total were dished out, but the two teams could not get anything past the goaltenders.
The Rivermen got out to a good start in the third period with an early goal on the power play from Troy Ring. Langley’s newest addition took a pass in the slot from Matthew Graham and snapped a quick wrist shot low blocker side on Kehler. Graham and Justin Fregona had the helpers on Ring’s second of the season. The best chance to tie it came with less than seven minutes to play. Cole Kehler made an unbelievable save on Graham who looked to have a wide open net on a rebound chance, but the ‘Cents keeper dove across the crease to keep the puck out with his goal stick. Merritt would lock it down the rest of the way to earn the one goal victory.
Despite firing 45 shots towards Kehler, the Rivermen saw their four game winning streak come to an end. The Centennials on the other hand ended a six game losing skid. Langley remains third in the Mainland Division with a 16-12-0-0 record.
Next up for the Riv is a home game on Saturday, November 28th against the West Kelowna Warrior at 6:00pm.
NOTES: Shots on Goal: LAN 45, MER 25. Power play: LAN 1/6, MER 1/7. Three Stars: 1st: MER Cole Kehler, 2nd: LAN Troy Ring, 3rd: MER Mitch Lipon.