Thursday, March 20, 2014


The Langley Rivermen forced a game 6 in the Mainland division final with a 5-2 win over the Express in game 5 from the Langley Events Centre. The Express lead in the best of 7 has been cut to 3-2.

The series was extended by an effort by the BCHL's top team in the regular season that saw them be credited with 51 shots.

Gordie Defiel finished with 46 saves, but despite being on the wrong side of the score had a very strong game in the Express crease. He couldn't really be faulted on any of the 5 pucks that got past him.

Former Express Will Cook opened the scoring when he bounced the puck in off Defiel from behind the net at 4:27.

The BCHL's most dangerous shorthanded team struck again to even the score. Captain Ryan Rosenthal scored on a breakaway after he picked the pocket of Victor Dombrovsky.

Rosenthal now has 3 of the 4 Express shorthanded goals in the playoffs. Including the regular season the Express have now scored 23 goals with the opposition on the power play.

When Langley has been at their best in this series, they've been able to use their size and strength down low on the Express zone and create offense off the won battles.

That led to Langley's second goal. After a puck battle won deep in the Express zone, the Rivermen were able to work it back to the point where Zach Urban unleashed a hard shot tipped home by Gage Torrell going to the net.

Defiel kept his team down a goal going into the second period after he made two key stops off Jacob Reichert in the final two minutes of the opening period.

The middle period saw Langley raise their game. And Defiel continued his best to try and keep them at bay. He made his best save of the game just seconds after a Rivermen power play expired when he fired up the glove to rob former Express Will Cook who was all alone in the slot.

Moments later Langley broke through when Captain Mitch McLain fired a great back pass to Tyson Witala who snapped it home at 12:23.

The Express had their chances to try and get back into the game. Ryan Rosenthal rang a shot off the post on the power play. Another chance off the post by Bo Pieper in the final minute of the second period quickly turned into a two on one for Langley and Tanner Johnson scored on a backhand for a 4-1 Rivermen lead.

Zach Hodder pulled the Express back within two 5 minutes into the third period scoring his second of the series after a set up from an Adam Rockwood drop pass.

Langley sealed the win just over two minutes later when Jacob Reichert was given free reign to walk off the boards untouched into the slot, and right to the net where he deked past Gordie Defiel at 7:09.

The Rivermen were credited with 39 shots in the final two periods compared to just 11 for the Express. I do use the term "credited" loosely. But the only number that matters is the score board.

Both teams went 0 for 4 on the power play.

The Express will try and have repeat performance from round 1 where they lost game 5 on the road try to win the series only to come home and finish it off in game 6 Friday in Coquitlam. 

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