The Langley Rivermen certainly played well enough to earn two points Saturday night but instead came away with one in their second tie of the season and their fourth straight overtime game, 2-2 in Cowichan.
Goaltending in this one was superb with Lyndon Stanwood making 37 saves in perhaps his best performance of the season. For the Capitals, Robin Gusse stole the show with 38 saves and kept his team in the game, not allowing a single Rivermen shot by him until early in the third period, Langley’s 27th attempt on net when Mitch McLain buried one from the top of the crease for his 21st of the season and 52nd point.
Marcus Vela scored on the power play just three minutes later with a healthy shot from the left wing to give the Rivermen the 2-1 lead. Despite the tying marker late in the third forcing overtime, the Rivermen had yet another third period comeback to steal a point. Not to confuse the matter, however, the Rivermen played well Saturday night and a similar effort Sunday could very well yield an even more positive result.
McLain’s goal has the Captain riding a seven game point streak while Robinson’s assist on Vela’s goal earned the veteran his 36th point on the season and now has at least a single point in 15 of his last 16 games, if that’s not impressive I just don’t know what is.
The Rivermen continue to deal with injuries and as a result once again had three affiliates in the lineup Saturday in forwards Matt Vela and Tristan Craighead, along with defenceman Trevor MacLean who played his first game with the Rivermen this season but played in 30 this year with the Powell River Kings. MacLean was very good in the Rivermen zone and added stability in a tightly fought battle.
For the life of me I can’t understand why neither Gusse nor Stanwood were named a star in this game. Both goalies were, as mentioned earlier, exceptional, and deserve plenty of praise. Stanwood now boasts a GAA of less than two in his last four starts combined.
The Rivermen conclude their final three-game weekend of the regular season Sunday afternoon with their first and only trip to Bear Mountain Arena, save for a potential playoff matchup down the road.
Innovative Fitness 3 Stars
1 – Mitch McLain (1G – Another strong effort from the Captain who did enough to earn two or three goals on the night)
2 – Daniel Wanner (1G – Clutch timing for the tying marker late in the game)
3 – Mason Malkowich