So far so good in 2014 as the Langley Rivermen have started the New Year with three straight wins and have a seven point lead atop the BCHL’s Mainland division.
A 4-3 overtime win in Chilliwack Friday night was followed up by a pair of dominant performances at home, a 5-1 win over Surrey Saturday and a 6-2 win over Cowichan Valley Sunday. Earning first star Sunday afternoon with 30 saves was Lyndon Stanwood who was fantastic in net for the Rivermen making several brilliant saves, especially on the penalty kill, and earned his first home ice win with the Rivermen. His shutout was spoiled only late in the third when the Capitals scored twice on a five minute power play.
There are multiple impressive stats from the weekend, but perhaps none moreso than the current hot streak of James Robinson. The 19-year old forward scored exactly one minute into the first period, shorthanded, for his 11th goal of the year and made it ten straight games where he has recorded at least a single point. In the last two games, the Rivermen have had 16 different players find the scoresheet. Talk about a balanced attack. Matt Ustaski had a four goal weekend with his 20th of the season into the empty net this afternoon as he did a spin-o-rama and backhanded the puck from a very sharp angle into the cage.
14 goals in three games is also nothing to shake a stick at, outscoring the opposition by nearly a 3:1 margin. This weekend also marked the return of Evan Anderson to the Riv lineup who looked very strong in his first two games back coming off a 14-week rehab for a lower body injury. Tyson Witala has also provided an offensive boost as the skilled veteran forward has shown he is a threat to score on nearly every shift.
The coming week will be very interesting given the CJHL trade deadline comes on Friday. With the 10th looming, the typical late frenzy of movement is expected once again. No matter what shakes down over the next five days, one thing is for sure, and it’s that the Langley Rivermen are poised and ready for the remaining stretch run of the season and have the tools at their disposal to make a deep run in the playoffs. The seven point lead atop the division is slightly misleading as Prince George still holds three games in hand, but the Riv regained control of their own fate with the three win weekend and a pair of Spruce King losses. Those five remaining games between Langley and PG will be massive without question. But first thing’s first, another hard week of practice and a home-and-home set with the Chilliwack Chiefs next weekend.