The Rivermen held a one goal lead three different times Wednesday night but a hardworking Surrey Eagles club clawed their way back each time before eventually taking the lead with six minutes to go in the third as Nathan Renouf one-timed a pass from brother Jonah below the goal line just 1:45 after Chase McMurphy tied the game at three on the power play.
Special teams were a big part of the story in game 2 as the Eagles got their much needed split before the series shifts to South Surrey Friday night. The Rivermen were unable to score on four power play chances while the Eagles went 2/7. McMurphy’s third period tying marker was scored on the third of four consecutive Surrey power plays in the final frame, a period that saw no penalties to the visitors. The Eagles boasted the BCHL’s second best power play through the regular season and it showed up again Wednesday night.
Matt Ustaski was a bright spot for the Rivermen in game 2 scoring twice, his first coming just four minutes into the opening frame. His second of the night and third of the playoffs came in the first minute of the third as he took an Evan Anderson pass off his skate, kicked it to his stick and snapped it home past Bo Didur. That gave the Rivermen their third lead of the game, one that would once again prove to be unsustainable.
Brock Crossthwaite played strong between the pipes once again for the Riv making 32 saves. The Eagles outshot the Rivermen 36-31 including 20-9 in the final period.
For the second game in a row, the Eagles used energy and determination while also capitalizing on their chances and have given themselves an opening into the division semi-final series. For the second straight game the Rivermen also have not played to their potential for a full 60 minutes. Getting back to Rivermen brand of hockey and making the most of the opportunities that are there will be a must for game three Friday night.
Innovative Fitness Langley 3 Stars
1 – Matt Ustaski (2G, keeps his current hot streak going now with 13 points in his last six games)
2 – Danton Heinen (1G, 1A)
3 – Jonah Renouf (1G, 1A)