Langley Rivermen hope to right ship on home ice

Langley's junior A squad plays Saturday night and then Sunday afternoon at the George Preston Recreation Centre.

After spending much of September as junior hockey vagabonds, the Langley Rivermen are finally home for a while.

And they have some winning to do.

The last time the Rivermen tasted victory was Sept. 17, when they upended the Chilliwack Chiefs 4-1 at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre, as part of the Bauer BCHL Showcase.

They’ve slumped since then, with four losses and a tie in their last five games, and enter the weekend with a 2-5-0-1 record.

Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson said his team has been playing some good hockey, but “the big thing is doing it consistently.”

“We’re finding ways to lose games right now,” he added.

The Rivermen’s latest loss came to the Cowichan Valley Capitals last Sunday at the George Preston Recreation Centre

Despite being outshot by a wide margin, the Capitals downed the ’Men 5-3.

Satchel Clendenin led the Rivermen with a pair of goals in a losing cause during the Rivermen’s first home game since Sept. 10.

The Rivermen are hoping to get healthy.

“We were missing quite a  few guys over the weekend,” Henderson said.“We’ve been pretty banged up and right now we’re trying to get through it.”

At the same time, the ’Men can’t be using injuries as a crutch, Henderson stressed.

“We can’t be making excuses,” he noted. “Injuries happen to everyone, and we have enough ability and character to win games. We just have to find ways to win.”

This weekend, the Rivermen play three games in three days, starting with a home-and-home series with the Coquitlam Express.

The ’Men and Express meet Friday at Coquitlam’s Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre, with a 7 p.m. opening faceoff, and then rematch Saturday at the GPRC starting at 6 p.m.

The Rivermen wrap up with the weekend with a Sunday afternoon home date against the Trail Smokeaters.

Opening puck drop is 2 p.m. at the GPRC.

Playing at home on a more consistent basis should benefit the players, Henderson said: “I’m sure they’re looking forward to the next stretch here at home. It’s nice get reacquainted here, and getting back into a routine.””

Langley Advance

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