Langley Rivermen's Austin Plevy celebrates a first-period goal during his team's 6-4 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies.

Langley Rivermen's Austin Plevy celebrates a first-period goal during his team's 6-4 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies.

Struggles one night, offensive explosion the next

Big first period comes in handy for Rivermen as Grizzlies come storming back

When it comes to goal scoring, it seems to be feast or famine for the Langley Rivermen.

The local hockey club, which is last in the BCHL in scoring with a paltry average of 2.12 goals per game 17 games through the junior A hockey season, has scored one goal or less 10 times this season while lighting the lamp four times or more on four occasions.

This was on display over the weekend as the Rivermen dropped a 2-0 decision to the Coquitlam Express on Friday night at the Poirer Sports and Leisure Centre. They followed that up the next night with a wild 6-4 victory over the visiting Victoria Grizzlies at the Langley Events Centre.

In that game, the Rivermen raced out to a 5-0 lead after 20 minutes and then hung on as Victoria scored four times in the third period to get within a goal before Mario Puskarich sealed the win with an empty-net goal, his second score of the contest as he also opened the scoring. He leads the team with 11 goals.

James Barr stopped 46 shots as the Grizzlies held a 50-27 shot advantage.

Puskarich, Scott Moyer, Austin Plevy, Mike Tebbutt and Derek Sutliffe had the Rivermen goals.

Sutliffe’s score, which turned out to be the game-winner, came on a penalty shot.

For Victoria, Brad Gehl, Alex Holland, Jarryd Ten Vanholt and Braxton Bilous had goals.

Bilous is a Langley Minor Hockey Association alum.

In Coquitlam the night before, Express goalie Cole Huggins stopped all 38 shots he faced and Brady Shaw and Connor Redmond scored 2:22 apart in the second period.

Langley goaltender Jim Kruger made 35 saves in a losing effort.

The Rivermen are on the road for a pair of games this weekend, Friday at the Chilliwack Chiefs and Saturday against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Langley Times

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