The 2018-19 BCHL hockey season is off to a great start for the Langley Rivermen.
First, they welcomed the Penticton Vees to the George Preston Recreation Centre on Friday, Sept. 7.
James Miller got the Vees on the board early, but Rivermen Mark Gallant soon replied.
With the Vees starting a rush out of their zone, Gallant stole an errant pass and got past Penticton goaltender Jack Lafontaine.
Langley would get a second goal from Gallant before the first was over as he drove to the net to deposit a rebound from Ethan Leyh’s shot from the top of the circle.
Penticton would get one more puck past Braedon Fleming in the second period to tie the game at two but try as they might, Fleming wasn’t giving them another.
Trevor Ayre would strike early in the third (3:16 mark) as another rebound would make Penticton pay. Mark Gallant wrapped up his first career hat trick shortly after while a goal from Scoville made sure there was no coming back.
Final: Rivermen 5-2.
Then, on Saturday night, the Riv saw the Coquitlam Express come to town for what turned into a goaltender battle.
Langley’s Braedon Fleming and the Express’ Kolby Matthews put on a fantastic show as both goalies were tested early and often.
Fleming was limiting chances by reducing second chances to almost zero as his defensive core led by Captain Alec Capstick ensured he saw every puck he could.
On the other end Kolby Matthews was seeing the puck well while stopping the ample rebound opportunities that came Langley’s way.
Will Stromp finally broke the goose egg depositing a rebound that was left laying just beyond the blue paint behind Kolby Matthews.
Braedon Fleming kept putting on a show in the Rivermen goal stopping 31 total shots for his first shutout of the season while defenceman Carter Stephenson finished Coquitlam off with a hail Mary empty net goal with just over 30 seconds left in the game.
Rivermen win: 2-0.
Next up, a home game against the Chilliwack Chiefs at George Preston Recreation Centre this Friday at 7:15 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office 45 minutes before puck drop or by calling 604-229-2352.