The Langley Rivermen continued their fantastic play on home ice picking up their eighth win at the LEC with a 4-2 win over the Coquitlam Express on Saturday night. For the second straight home game the ‘Men controlled the play for most of the contest and played a full 60 minutes. In fact they did not trail for a single second throughout the entire game.
The Rivermen got off to a fast start as Matt Ustaski put away his fifth goal of the year on the power play just short of the five-minute mark. Ustaski held on to the puck out of the left corner and looked like he wanted to pass to Mitch McLain in front of the net, but instead he put the puck on goal and beat Cole Huggins by surprise between the pads. The Express would tie up the game also on the power play courtesy of John Siemer at the 12:43 mark of the period. A few minutes after that tally, Austin Azurdia would get the lead back for the home team. The Washington native was the recipient of a great pass from James Robinson from behind the goal and Azurdia chipped home the puck into the top shelf for the 2-1 lead. Langley wanted to get off to a good start and they did just that firing 15 pucks on goal. James Barr stopped 11 of 12 in the opening frame. Robinson was a force for the entire 20 minutes finishing a goal shy of the Gordie Howe hat-trick and even had a glorious chance on a penalty shot, but missed.
The Express would equalize the game just over the three-minute mark from John Siemer again. Siemer swiped in his 11th of the year and second of the game on a rebound off Barr’s pads from a Phil Zielonka shot. It would stay deadlocked for eight minutes, but the ‘Men got their third lead of the game on a goal of the year candidate from Evan Anderson. The newly acquired forward toe dragged the puck around an Express defenseman and fired home a quick snap shot top corner over the glove of Huggins. It was his second goal in two games and really had the fans buzzing after that beauty of a goal.
The Rivermen kept the pedal to the metal in the final frame and buried the express on a goal from Evan Campbell at the 10:18 mark. Campbell got a great pass from Mario Puskarich from the side of the goal and the Port Coquitlam product wired a shot five-hole on Huggins. Barr would stop all five shots he faced in the third period and picked up his eighth win of the season.
It was Langley’s first win over Coquitlam in the season series. The Express still do lead 2-1 in the three games played, but now the Rivermen are just two points back of them for fourth place in the Mainland Division. I am not too sure what it is about Langley playing great at home, but they rarely have disappointed the home crowd this season. Nearly 1900 fans took in the action at the LEC tonight and I encourage everybody to continue to come on out to support as the team has always risen to the occasion when playing in front of a big crowd. However it will be a while until the boys are back at home. They are about to embark on their first Island road swing of the year next weekend where they will play three games in three days against Namaimo(Friday), Cowichan Valley(Saturday), and Powell River(Sunday).