The preseason has passed and if it’s a sign of things to come for Rivermen fans, you’re in for a treat! Through the six-game schedule the Rivermen went 5-1-0 knocking off the Chilliwack Chiefs in back to back games to close it all out. The last game was played at the Prospera Centre where your Rivermen put on a show.
The Rivermen split the games goaltending duties between veteran starter Braedon Fleming & Alex Rolfe, both played lights out, out of 17 shots they collectively stopped 16 while the lone blemish came early in the first. However, from there on out it was all Langley. Brian Scoville started off the scoring with an absolute rocket that Chiefs goalkeeper Mathieu Caron stood no chance on, next was Mark Gallant performing a magic trick faking out the entire building before sending a beautiful cross crease pass for Ethan Leyh to deposit in the back of the cage. Caron’s period of trouble continued as he bumbled a shot which sat loose in the crease while everyone slapped at it until Will Stromp swatted it in. Rivermen up 3-1!
The second period saw Langley control the pace of the game, big hits from Daneel Lategan & Ryan Helliwell kept the Chiefs at bay. While the Chiefs were on the powerplay, Kalen Szeto was a thorn in their side with every shift, his peskiness left Chilliwack unstable with the puck resulting in Ethan Leyh having a shorthanded breakaway from center ice where he would register his second of the game. It was lights out for the Chiefs who were unable to break through the good forechecking and shot blocking of the Rivermen defence the final score would read 4-1 for Langley.
We spoke with Coach Henderson about a few subjects this week here are some highlights;
Riv Nation: Lets start with the breaking news, the Rivermen went out, made some trades and the result is Keyvan Mokhatri will now be one of the good guys. Langley fans I’m sure have memories of him the past few seasons. What excites you the most about having him in your line up?
BH: I think the word that comes to everyone’s mind is SPEED. Keyvan has world class wheels. The way the game has gone with stick infractions being emphasized, it really allows a player like Keyvan to flourish.
Riv Nation: The team went 5-1-0 this preseason with some big wins against the Chiefs, what impressed you the most about our exhibition play & how hard of a task do you and the staff have in making the final decisions for our opening night roster?
BH: I was impressed with the resiliency the group showed early on. In both games we were fortunate enough to establish a lead. Chilliwack pressed hard in some powerplay situations and we were able to weather the storm. It helped having the leadership that was provided by our returners as well as maturity shown by new recruits. The final decisions on shaping the roster is arguably the hardest part of
coaching at this level. These are great kids and elite athletes. We are just trying to get the right pieces of the puzzle together.
You can catch the Rivermen on opening night September 7th as we invite the Penticton Vees to the Lodge. Single game tickets can be purchased at the George Preston Recreation Centre box office 45 minutes before puck drop or by calling 604-229-2352 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Come on out and cheer on YOUR Langley Rivermen!