The Langley Rivermen pulled out a late 3-2 win against the Prince George Spruce Kings on Saturday night. It was a tight defensive battle for the most part as the Spruce Kings led for most of the night, but for a second straight game the ‘Men scored when they needed it the most.
The first period did not generate much as only 17 shots were directed on goal between both teams. In the dying minutes the Spruce Kings got on the board on a power play goal by Coltyn Hansen who shoved home a loose rebound in front of James Barr to open the scoring. The Rivermen had one glorious scoring chance from Mitch McLain, but he was robbed by Kirk Thompson on a diving effort in what was an open net for McLain.
The second period was a scoreless one between the two teams, which set up an entertaining third. Austin Azurdia broke up the goose egg on a shorthanded breakaway to even the game at one. The Wenatchee native stole the puck in his own zone and raced down the ice past the defense and made a slick one on one move on Thompson to send the crowd into a frenzy. However, the tie would not last long as the Spruce Kings got that one back on the man advantage. Tyson Witala fired a shot from the slot that beat Barr over the glove to regain the lead late on the power play. The Rivermen would need some late heroics yet again and they got it just as their power play expired. Bo Pellah took the puck down low from the point and fed a beautiful pass in front of the goal to Azurdia who made no mistake for his second of the game to even it up yet again. Just under two minutes later the Rivermen would get their first lead of the game thanks to Derek Sutliffe. Jakob Reichert stole the puck at the PG blue line and let a snap shot go that was tipped by Sutliffe on its way to the net. In the building Reichert got credit for the goal, but it was Sutliffe who got a piece of it for his second of the year. The ‘Men would hold off the Spruce Kings in the end and skated away with their fourth win in seven games. Barr picked up the win facing 19 shots, while Thompson was charged the loss facing 22 pucks.
It was not only a big two points for the Rivermen over their Mainland Division rival, but especially big not allowing them to get a single point when it looked like OT was needed. Austin Azurdia arguably had his best game of the year and was named the first star in the game. His combination of speed, skill, and tenacity makes him a handful whenever he takes to the ice.
How bout we do it all over again tomorrow at 2PM?