Split trip still leaves Rivermen in top spot

With the holiday break looming, head coach Bobby Henderson likes where his is team is sitting.

“We are in a good spot,” he said on Monday morning, following the Rivermen’s 1-1 record from a two-game road trip to Trail and Salmon Arm.

The Rivermen won 3-2 on Friday over the Trail Smoke Eaters, but lost 4-1 the next night in Salmon Arm to the Silverbacks.

The results leave the junior A hockey club with a record of 20-11-1-2 and their 43 points are three ahead of the second-place Prince George Spruce Kings. The Spruce Kings do hold three games in hand.

“Friday night, we played a pretty solid game,” Henderson noted.

“Plenty of scoring opportunities and we capitalized on enough of them to win.

“(But) on Saturday, we just weren’t very good.”

Against Trail, Jackson Waniek got the Rivermen road trip off to a great start, scoring just 21 seconds into the BCHL game.

Jakob Reichert and Marcus Vela struck for second-period goals with Trail’s Travis Stephens scoring in between.

The Smoke Eaters’s Bryan Basilico had the only goal of the third period.

Lydnon Starwood stopped 34 of 36 shots in his Rivermen debut.

In Salmon Arm, the Silverbacks scored three times in a 4:28 span of the first period to seize control.

Cole McCaskill, Blake Box and Max Becker had the goals.

Gage Torrel got the Rivermen on the board early in the second period.

Landon Smith made it 4-1 in the third period.

Brock Crossthwaite stopped 21 of the 25 shots he faced as his personal five-game win streak came to an end.

The Rivermen close out the pre-holiday schedule with a three-game home stand over the weekend at the Langley Events Centre. Langley hosts Surrey on Dec. 13, Powell River on Dec. 14 and Nanaimo on Dec. 15. The first two games begin at 7:15 p.m. while the final game goes at 2 p.m. After that, the team is off until Dec. 28.

“The break will be good for our guys,” Henderson said.

“Let some of the guys heal up.”

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