Riv Top of the Food Chain

The Langley Rivermen may not have had a more satisfying win all season with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks ending a three game losing skid Friday night.

After the Apes tied the game midway through the third to force overtime, Gage Torrel had the puck bank in off his leg on a 4-on-3 power play to seal the win.

The Riv had a solid start capped off with a beautiful bar-down shot from James Robinson for his second goal in as many nights giving Langley the 1-0 lead 6:44 in.  The Silverbacks evened the game at one later on a power play with the teams tied at one heading into the break.

The second started far slower than the first with a number of early period icing calls as neither team generated much by way of quality chances.  Langley went to just their second power play of the game late in the second when Mitch McLain one-timed a Matt Ustaski pass over the left shoulder of Apes goaltender and Langley native Angus Redmond to go up 2-1.

The Rivermen held the lead until midway through the third when Alex Gillies beat Brock Crossthwaite to tie it at two.  Late in the third Rivermen forward Austin Azurdia was hit in a vulnerable position several feet off the boards by Salmon Arm defenceman Dylan Box hitting his head on the lower part of the glass.  Azurdia was helped off the ice while Box received a five minute check from behind major penalty and a game misconduct giving the Riv a critical late game power play chance.

Unable to score in the 2:11 remaining in regulation Langley continued on the man advantage in overtime when a Zach Urban pass attempt went off Torrel and into the Salmon Arm net.

The win improves the Rivermen’s record to 15-9-1-2 on the season now within a single point of the Mainland division leading Spruce Kings.  Crossthwaite was very solid between the pipes making 35 saves earning second star honours.   A goal and assist for Torrel gives the 19 year old six points in his first four games with the Rivermen while Urban’s helper on the game winner gave him a huge point against his former club.

The Rivermen look to make it two wins in as many nights as they make their second trip of the season to Chilliwack Saturday night and a chance to regain first place in the division.

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