Riv Back in First

The Langley Rivermen played a solid road game kicking off four games in five days with a 2-1 win over the Spruce Kings to reclaim first place in the Mainland division.

I had a friend describe the Spruce Kings as a rather plucky bunch and that couldn’t be more true for a team that boasts no real obvious strength or super star but yet somehow manages to remain among the most competitive in the BCHL.  So to begin this three game road trip with a win in Prince George’s own barn makes it that much more of an accomplishment.

The first two periods weren’t the most entertaining as neither team created many solid scoring chances.  The score remained deadlocked until Jakob Reichert stole the puck at centre and gave himself a breakaway.  His first shot on Jesse Jenks was stopped but Reichert put his own rebound in the back of the net to put the Riv up 1-0 late in the second.

Will Cook kept his recent hot streak alive with his seventh of the year just 43 seconds into the third to giv the Riv a 2-0 lead.  Both teams traded chances throughout the third which was far more wide open.  The Spruce Kings finally beat Brock Crossthwaite on Braiden Epp’s second of the season with 2:11 to go in the final frame but despite a push with the extra attacker, Prince George couldn’t force overtime as the Rivermen win their third straight improving to 17-9-1-2 and jump ahead of the Spruce Kings for first by a single point.

Epp’s goal ended a shutout streak of 129 minutes for Crossthwaite who made 32 saves earning the game’s first star. 

Next up for the Rivermen is a stop at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday night for a date with the Penticton Vees.

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