Rivermen complete comeback; knock off Express

The Langley Rivermen were looking  to win their third straight game on the road in Coquitlam on Friday night. It was the seventh meeting overall and was the final visit to the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre. The team was looking to bounce back after suffering back to back defeats to Penticton and Surrey at home last weekend. James Barr got the nod for the ‘Men, while Cole Huggins was the starting goalie for Coquitlam.

The game did not get off to a good start for the Rivermen as Adam Rossignol opened up the scoring just over a minute in. Langley would have some great opportunities to tie it up, but Huggins was stellar stopping everything he faced. With time winding down, Ben Israel would pop home his first goal in an Express uniform off a scramble in front of Barr to make it 2-0. The Rivermen had 11 shots, while the Express had seven after 20 minutes.

The second period was a stalemate for the first 10 minutes, but Langley finally got on the board at the 12:04 mark. Off a face off in the Coquitlam zone, Trevor Cope took the puck behind the goal and put a perfect pass on the tape of Matt Ustaski who slid home the Rivermen’s first goal of the contest. 35 seconds later, Evan Campbell would get the equalizer on a power play. Off another face off, Mario Puskarich fed the puck down to the side of the net to Campbell who made a power move on the backhand and rifled home his 11th of the year. The Express would make a severe push to get their lead back at the end of the period which included a breakaway from Travis Stephens that was stopped by Barr.

With the third period deadlocked past the ten minute mark, Jakob Reichert would score an incredible highlight reel goal on the power play. The Langley native took the puck from his own blue line, split the defense with a pretty deke and roofed the puck over the shoulder of Huggins while falling. It was his fourth of the season and could not have come at a bigger time. Coquitlam would get a fantastic opportunity  in the last few minutes to tie it up off  the sitck of Zach Pryzbek all alone in the slot, but Barr would make a clutch save to keep it 3-2. With under a minute to go, the Express would pull the goaltender for the extra attacker, but the move did not work as Puskarich scored into the empty net for his league leading 28th.

It was a character building come from behind win and it was especially big with the standings the way it was. Langley is now three points up on Coquitlam for fourth place .

Barr would get the win facing 30 shots while Reichert would pick up first star honours with a goal and an assist.


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