Langley Rivermen saw a four-game streak come to an end Saturday, Nov. 6 with the first road win of the season for the visiting Cranbrook Bucks, in a game that was decided by shootout.
Rivermen head coach and general manager Burt Henderson was expecting a hard-fought game.
“I think we’re close in the style of play,” Henderson commented.
“I figured it would be a close game.”
After a scoreless first period before 426 fans at George Preston in Langley, the Rivermen struck first, with a goal from Chase Sandhu at 5:04 in the second period.
Cranbrook came back with a power play goal from Tyson Dyck to tie the game, but less than a minute later, Owen Kim put Langley back in the lead.
Cranbrook tied the game early in the third , then Rivermen moved ahead with a Riley Wallack goal but Dyck’s second goal of the night tied the game again at 3-3.
After a scoreless overtime, the game went to a shootout, with a Liam Hansson goal securing a 4-3 win for the Bucks.
Despite that, Langley remains in first place in the BCHL Coastal conference standings at 7-1-1-2.
Henderson said he would have preferred the Rivermen didn’t give up the lead as often as they did against Cranbrook, and it will be something he will be reviewing with the players.
“Just have to go over the video,” Henderson told the Langley Advance Times.
Thehard-fought loss came after the fourth of four wins for the Rivermen the day before, a Friday, Nov. 5 4-2 away game victory over the Coquitlam Express.
It was the third time in a row that the Express fell to Langley.
Rivermen previously downed Coquitlam on Nov. 2, 6-1 at home, and before tha,t recorded a a 5-0 victory over the Express Oct. 31, a game that saw netminder Ajeet Gundarah win his first BCHL shutout as he made 32 saves and he named the game’s first star (The streak started Oct. 29 with a 5-2 defeat of Chilliwack).
Gundarah was later named one of the BCHL stars of the week, along with Victoria Grizzlies defenceman Clark Hiebert and Penticton Vees forward Brett Moravec.
“He [Gundarah] played for me when he was with the Trappers,” Henderson recalled, describing the 18-year-old left-hander from Richmond as a competitive, hard-working player.
“He doesn’t like to get scored on, even in practice.”
In the first month of the season, Gundarah, has recorded a .973 save percentage and a 1.00 goals-against average.
The Rivermen are back in action Wednesday night, Nov. 10, in Coquitlam against the Express.
Henderson would like to see more Rivermen fans in the stands for home games, noting that the 426 who showed for the game against the Bucks included a contingent of Cranbrook fans, who followed their team all the way from the Kootenays.
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