Langley Rivermen unveiled their retro Langley Thunder jerseys before they took the ice against the Cowichan Valley Capitals for their first “Throwback Thursday” game to celebrate 60 years of the Junior A hockey in B.C.
In Langley, over the years, teams have been known as the Langley Lords, Langley Canadians, Langley Eagles, Langley Thunder, Langley Hornets, Langley Chiefs and, currently, Langley Rivermen.
Asst. GM Thomas Koshman said the players will be wearing the jerseys again as the team marks more ‘throwback Thursdays’ by wearing the retro jerseys – and charging a retro ticket price of $5 for all seats.
On Thursday, Nov. 18, the Langley BCHL franchise marked their first Throwback Thursday by downing Cowichan 4-1 before 435 fans at George Preston arena.
First, there was a ceremonial puck drop with former Rivermen and Langley Chiefs player Ryan Bakken, former Hornets player (and Langley Eagles associate coach) Chris Difrancescantonio and former Thunder player Tavis Eaton doing the honours.
After a scoreless first period, Keeton Oakley scored early in the second with an assist by Ryan Upson and Tyler Schleppe.
David Jacobs replied for the Capitals, with an assist from Brett Fudger, and that would be the visitors’ only goal of the game.
Riley Wallack then scored twice for Langley in less than a minute, with assists by Owen Kim, Samuel May and Joseph Messina.
In the third, Tyler Schleppe made it 4-1 with the aid of Ryan Upson and Josh Wessels
Wallack and Schleppe were named first and second stars of the game.
On Sunday Nov. 21, visiting Wenatchee Wild downed Langley 5-1. Deven Nagra, with an assist from Tyler Schleppe and Keeton Oakley, had the lone Langley marker.
Langley then went on the road to win three back-to-back games, starting with 4-2 victory over Cowichan, at Cowichan Community Centre on Friday, Nov. 26. Max Dukovac, Max Bulawka, Samuel May and Owen Kim scored for Langley.
Saturday, Nov. 27, Langley racked up their second road trip win by beating Alberni Valley 2-1 in overtime with goals from Keeton Oakley and Max Dukovac at the Weyerhaeuser Arena.
They made it three in a row on Sunday, Nov. 28, downing Victoria 2-1. Keeton Oakley and Tanner Attew had markers for Langley.
READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley Rivermen streak ends with a narrow loss
Rivermen currently lead the BCHL Coastal division with Nanaimo second and Alberni Valley third
“We’re a hard-working team,” Koshman told the Langley Advance Times, praising coach Burt Henderson for doing a great job with the players.
“The boys put on a good show. We’re pretty close to where we want to be.”
Koshman said the team has so far managed to stay active despite league schedule disruptions caused by the flooding, thanks to both Cowichan and Wenatchee coming in from Vancouver Island and Washington State.
Three December games against Vernon, West Kelowna, and Salmon Arm have been postponed.
Their next scheduled game is Friday, Dec. 3 against Chilliwack.
On Tuesday, Nov. 23, Langley Rivermen forward Ryan Upson was named to the BCHL all-star team, part of the initial 18 skaters who will participate in the three-on-three outdoor tournament Jan. 15 in Penticton.
One skater from each team was voted onto the roster after a poll of all 18 BCHL coaches.
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