Langley Rivermen forward Mario Puskarich earned team MVP honours following his 31-goal season for the junior A hockey squad.

Langley Rivermen forward Mario Puskarich earned team MVP honours following his 31-goal season for the junior A hockey squad.

Rivermen hand out year-end awards

Three of five award winners should be back for Langley junior A hockey club

Year one of the Langley Rivermen era is in the books.

The junior A hockey club, which failed to qualify for the BCHL playoffs, wrapped up its regular season with a 19-35-1-5 record. Their 44 points put them seventh in the eight-team Coastal Conference.

The team also held its year-end banquet on March 12.

Mario Puskarich picked up team most valuable player honours.

The import forward from Florida — who is expected back next season — led the team with 31 goals and was second in points with 59.

Darnell Dyck was the Rivermen’s most consistent forward all season long and led the team 46 assists and 65 points. He also had 19 goals. This was the Chilliwack product’s last season of junior hockey.

Another graduating player, Ryan Bakken was named the team’s top defenceman. The captain, who is from Langley, chipped in with a goal and 14 assists, but was known more of his leadership and steady play.

The most improved player award when to rookie forward Jackson Playfair. After a slow start in the season’s first half, Playfair began to find his game, finishing with six goals and a dozen assists.

Playfair is from Fort St. James.

And the hardest worker award went to Derek Sutliffe. Another BCHL rookie, the Las Vegas import finished the campaign with 15 goals and 27 assists.