Rivermen upset Coastal’s top team

The Langley Rivermen picked up their first win in February in convincing fashion over the Surrey Eagles 4-1 on Wednesday night. It was the last game  at the South Surrey Arena in the season series and was the seventh meeting overall. It was a huge effort for the Rivermen as they played a near perfect road game and really deserved to pick up the two points at the final buzzer.

The game was scoreless for the first eight minutes as both goaltenders James Barr (Langley) and Connor Barrie(Surrey) went save for save to start things off. However, it was Robert Lindores opening the scoring on the power play for the Eagles as he jammed home a loose puck in the crease. A shift later , Darnell Dyck buried his 15th goal of the season off a Surrey turnover at their own blueline. Peter McMullen stole the puck, feathered a beautiful pass to Dyck who put it int he upper part of the net to even the score. The second period is where the Rivermen really began to take over. Jackson Playfair capitalized on a perfectly executed 2 on 1 with Austin Plevy for his fourth goal of the season and his second in two games against the Eagles to grab a 2-1 lead. A shift after that, Mario Puskarich scored his team leading 24th goal of the season also on 2 on 1 as Evan Campbell dished it off to Puskarich who made no mistake slipping the puck between the legs of Barrie. Darnell Dyck then capped off the period, scoring his second of the game on a perfect redirect in the slot on a wrist shot from Mike Tebbutt, which gave the Rivermen a 4-1 lead. It was arguably Langley’s best period in the season series as they fired a total of 19 shots towards Barrie and smothered the Eagles for the most part of the frame. The third period was scoreless as the Rivermen had a few big penalty kills to fend off the Coastal Conference’s top squad.

James Barr was named the first star of the game as he fought off 38 shots on the night and made a few spectacular saves for his team. Ray Bell was named the second star and was really deserving of the honour as he played his best game in a Rivermen uniform in my opinion. He was mean, blocked a ton of shots and was sound defensively. It was Surrey’s first loss in regulation in 17 games. With the victory, the Rivermen passed the Victoria Grizzlies for seventh place and will face them at the Bear Mountain Arena on Friday night.

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