The Langley Rivermen were in a festive mood Friday night and they weren’t about to let the Victoria Grizzlies spoil their party.
With Rogers Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey road show in town to kick off a big weekend of activities in Langley, the Rivermen used a boisterous crowd to edge past the Grizzlies by a 5-2 score.
The Grizzlies, behind an Alex Campbell goal midway through the first period, led 1-0 after 20 minutes, but it was all Rivermen (19-21-1-0) after that as the home team snapped a three-game losing skid, which included a 6-4 loss in Victoria last Friday.
Trevor Ayre got the Rivermen offence going five minutes into the second period, but a Charlie Campbell power-play marker midway through the period drew the Grizzlies even. Just 45 seconds after Campbell’s goal, Langley got the first of four straight goals courtesy Chase Pletzke. Ayre added another before the period was over and Daneel Lategan and Mark Gallant added third-period goals for the home team.
Zack Rose, making only his second start after missing the first half of the season thanks to off-season shoulder surgery, finished with 30 saves. Braedon Fleming made 22 stops in the Langley net.
The Grizzlies, who drop to 25-13-0-2 but remain atop the Island Division, now head south to Wenatchee to take on the defending BCHL-champion Wild tonight at 7. Then it’s up to Trail on Sunday to face the Smoke Eaters.
LOOSE PUCKS: The Grizzlies are without forward Eddie Yan for this road trip. The rookie is in Iceland representing China at the Div. 3 world junior championship.