The Rivermen headed to the West Kootenays for a matchup with the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday night. Langley controlled most of the play, outshooting the Smoke Eaters 38-27, only to fall victim to an unfortunate bounce, losing 3-2 in overtime.
“It’s been the theme of the year so far and it’s pretty upsetting,” said forward Evan Anderson. “Coming into these away barns and losing by one or two goals, it’s pretty disappointing and we’re not happy with it.”
“We were outshooting them, getting pucks down low and cycling real well,” said defenseman Will Campion. “I wish we could’ve gotten the extra point, but it was a rough road trip, driving through the night, guys were tired, but we’ll try and get these next few games.”
Midway through the first period, defenseman Jake Zeleznikar was hit and went down awkwardly into the boards and remained down on the ice for at nearly 30 minutes. Once paramedics arrived on scene, Zelezinkar was taken to a nearby hospital, where it was announced he had a broken femur, and will miss the remainder of the season.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with him,” said Assistant Coach Kurt Astle. “Missing him this weekend hurt, especially on the power play and in the locker room. We wish him a quick and speedy recovery.”
“It’s a hard thing to see when a good teammate like Jake goes down,” said Captain Kevan Kilistoff. “It was nice to see the guys bounce back and rally around him, but it was tough to deal with that and I think that hurt us on Sunday.”
On Sunday, Langley headed to Salmon Arm for a matinee matchup with the Silverbacks, who were also coming off a loss on Friday night against Victoria. Tempers boiled early, as the Rivermen got into penalty trouble and were forced to play catch-up all game.
The Rivermen climbed back from a 3-0 deficit, scoring two straight goals with a chance to tie it up on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity early in the third period, which the team was unable to capitalize on.
“We were getting shots but couldn’t bury our chances,” said Campion. “We took a five minute penalty that killed us. We got off our game with the chirping and reaction penalties, didn’t stick to our game plan and in the end and it cost us.”
“One thing we have to get better at is controlling our emotions,” said Anderson. “We score a goal and get up, then we take a penalty and that just kills our momentum. If we can control that and stay out of the box, we’ll have success.”
Once again, special teams cost the Rivermen, as Salmon Arm was 3-for-7 on the power play and Angus Redmond made some crucial saves for the Silverbacks, including multiple point blank stops, as they defeated the Rivermen 5-2.
“We beat ourselves in both games,” said Astle. “It was an unfortunate result in Trail, due to not capitalizing on our opportunities. We outworked them and had our chances, but when it came down to it, we didn’t execute.”
The Rivermen also lost defenseman Cole Williams in the first period of Saturday night’s game, as he collided knee-on-knee with Trail defenseman Dexter McLeod.
The Rivermen’s next two games are at home, when they take on division rivals, the Coquitlam Express on Saturday, October 25 on ‘Trick or Suite Night.’ Kids who dress in Halloween costumes get in FREE and the first 500 kids through the door will receive a Langley Rivermen Trick or Treat re-usable bag. In the first and second intermission, kids will be able to trick or treat up at the LEC’s suite level. Candy is being provided by Sticky’s Candy and Pumpkins have been donated by Aldor Acres. The following day, on Sunday, October 26, Langley hosts the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for a 2:00PM start. All games can be seen on www.FastHockey.com and heard on Mixlr radio.
For details visit www.LangleyRivermen.com