The Langley Rivermen and Chilliwack Chiefs would play one last time at the Langley Events Centre on Thursday night. It was the Rivermen’s last home game of the regular season and they looked to build upon their stellar home record of 15-8-1-2. The ‘Men had the Chiefs number of late as they have won the last three games against them and evened up the season series at 3-3. James Barr would start for Langley between the pipes, while Josh Halpenny got the call for Chilliwack.
The Chiefs would get on the board first just past the five minute mark of the game and it came short-handed none the less. Phil Zielonka would take the puck on a two on one with Ryan Donohoe and it was Donohoe finishing off the play on a pretty back hand goal to open up the scoring. Minutes later, Langley would make good on their next power play opportunity. Evan Campbell would take a pass from Mario Puskarich and then find Mark Whiteley in the crease and was able to backhand home his 7th goal of the season. With the point, Puskarich would extend his point streak to 10 games.
In the second frame, the Chiefs would take over the hockey game. Donohoe would score his second of the game just before the four minute mark, but this time on the power play off a rebound from Barr. Derek Sutliffe would get a chance to tie it as he was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakway. The Las Vegas product would be stopped by Halpenny to keep it a 2-1 game. With under two minutes to go Phil Zielonka would put away his 36th goal of the season as he pounced on a rebound from an Austin Plevy shot. The Chiefs were not done there as Spencer Graboski would capitalize on a Langley turn over with just 22 seconds left in the period.
With Langley down three goals entering the final period, Darren Hogg would come in relief of Barr. The move sparked the Rivermen as Evan Campbell would score his 20th goal of the campaign at the 2:52 mark. James Robinson made a perfect pass from the corner to a wide open Campbell in the slot who was denied on his first shot, but not the rebound to make it a two goal game. With less than 10 minutes to play, Donohoe would score his hat-trick goal and short-handed once again to put the game away at 5-2.
Halpenny would turn away 25 shots and pick up his sixth win of the year, while Barr was the losing goaltender. Donohoe had quite the night with three goals and was named the first star, while Zielonka and Campbell rounded out second and third star honours.
Full marks to the Chiefs who played a complete game in front of 1834 fans on “Fan Appreciation night”.The Chiefs now lead the season series 4-3 and will welcome the Rivermen to the Prospera Centre for the regular season finale on Saturday night.