A night after the Rivermen scored a remarkable three shorthanded goals the Langley power play exploded Saturday night scoring three times on the man advantage as the Riv earned a second straight 5-2 win, this one over the Powell River Kings.
But this wasn’t just any 5-2 win. Tonight’s victory should garner plenty of attention for a number of reasons. Let’s start with the fact this was a convincing victory over another division leader and a team that entered Saturday’s contest with the best record in the BCHL. The Kings have since fallen to second place in the Island division with a Victoria win Saturday.
The Kings struck first, with three minutes to go in the opening period, shorthanded. Even though the first was fairly even, it would have been all too easy to get frustrated and grip the sticks a little too tight. But quite to the contrary, the Riv came out and owned the second period scoring four, three of them on the power play. Zach Urban scored his first of the season and first with the Riv one-timing a Viktor Dombrovskiy cross-ice feed into the back of the Powell River net. Urban sure couldn’t have picked a better team to score his first against as it was his goal in the playoffs last year that ended the Kings’ season while he was with Victoria.
Up 4-1 in the third, the Riv had their lead cut to two midway through the final frame as the Kings made a strong push to tighten the score and even had a shot go off the post but Riv Captain Mitch McLain sealed the game with the empty netter for his second on the night and 17th of the season.
McLain has a whopping six points in his last two games which includes Saturday’s Teddy Bear Toss goal in which hundreds of stuffed animals poured onto the ice from the stands, all of which will be donated to local charities. Matt Ustaski also had another good night with two helpers for his second straight multi-point game while Brock Crossthwaite made 30 saves for his seventh win in his last eight starts.
The Riv have now opened up a seven point lead atop the Mainland division and have won four in a row at home. While Saturday night may have been a statement game the Rivermen can make an even greater impact by closing out their pre-Christmas schedule with a win Sunday afternoon against the Nanaimo Clippers.