Riv vs. Surrey & Cowichan: Weekend Recap January 26th & 27th

The Langley Rivermen returned home this past weekend, after two weeks off of game action due to the BCHL’s All-Star weekend, to take on the Surrey Eagles Friday, and Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday night.

Friday’s game was the 7th meeting of the season between Surrey and Langley, and the pace was incredible right from puck drop. Luke Ashton scored on a rocket of a shot from the blue line giving the Rivermen the lead 2:32 into the game.

However, the visitors were gifted two back to back power plays, scoring on both and taking a 2-1 lead into the intermission.

A low event second period looked like it was going into the third 2-1 Surrey, however another Eagles power play allowed Nathan Oickle to fire in a shot from the blue line making it 3-1.

6:10 into the final frame, Tuukka Heiskanen would score on a rebound from a point shot in front for his third of the season, and third straight game with a goal making it 3-2 Surrey.

After numerous chances for the Rivermen, Surrey would take a 4-2 lead on a quick shot from the slot. Langley once again made it a one goal game, as Logan Morrell scored his first goal in a Rivermen uniform on a beautiful individual effort. Morrell accepted a pass from Riv rookie Lincoln Hjelm at centre ice, put the puck through a Surrey players skates, and beat Eagles goaltender Jaiden Sharma blocker side for a highlight reel goal.

A late disallowed goal from Langley with time winding down, allowed Surrey to keep their 4-3 lead intact, and added a late empty netter taking the game 5-3.

“I was really impressed with our intensity and compete on Friday against Surrey who were league leaders at that point”, said Rivermen head coach and general manager Tyler Kuntz post game.

Saturday’s game would start similar to Friday’s game, as Langley would score the first goal on the power play thanks to Carsten Kayter on a seeing eye shot from the blue line.

However, Cowichan would score a pair of goals 2:18 apart, including one on the power play to take a 2-1 lead into the second period.

The Rivermen would tie it thanks to Luke Ashton, who fired a shot past Capitals goaltender Cody Butikis for his 13th of the year.

Cowichan would retake the lead on a quick shot off the left wing thanks to lower mainland native Darius Bachler. The Rivermen would kill off a 5 minute power play for the Capitals, but trailed 3-2 going into the third.

Oskar Komarov would tie the game for Langley midway through the third period on another power play, and the game would head to overtime.

Gavin Giesbrecht would win the game for the visitors with 4:25 gone in overtime after some intense Capitals pressure.

“Saturday was tough for us, especially being able to play like we did on Friday. Credit to Cowichan for playing hungry and making it hard on us.” Said Kuntz.

The Rivermen look to bounce back on Wednesday as part of their annual School Day game, an 11am puck drop against the Coquitlam Express. Tickets can be bought at the door or online at www.langleyrivermen.com.

Written by Gideon Hill