The West Kelowna Warriors gave up three power play goals and couldn’t climb their way back as they fall by a 5-3 score to the Langley Rivermen on Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the game just 3:04 into the game as Connor Sodergren buried in a rebound of a Tyler Jutting shot from the right circle for his team leading 24th goal of the season and a 1-0 Warriors lead. Affiliate player Juanre Naude picked up his first career BCHL point with an assist on the game’s opening marker.
The Rivermen tied the game at the 9:57 mark of the 1st period as Ryan Barrow found a loose puck behind Warriors netminder Cole Demers on the power play and the Warriors and Rivermen were knotted at one goal apiece.
Langley took their first lead of the game at the 17:49 mark of the opening frame coming courtesy of defensemen McKay Flanagan as his mid-point shot beat a maze of bodies through the slot and past Demers’ blocker side for the 2-1 Langley advantage after 20 minutes of play.
West Kelowna tied the game at the 4:57 mark of the 2nd period on a scramble in front of the Langley goaltender Bo Didur as the puck was finally whacked into the net by Chase Dubois for goals in back-to-back games for the 18-year-old and his 16th goal of the season tied the hockey game at two.
The Rivermen took their lead back at the 16:50 mark of the 2nd period on another power play goal as Max Kauffman took a pass in the slot from Zac Masson and beat Demers on the blocker side to leapfrog the Rivermen back in front by a 3-2 score.
Langley added another power play tally, their third of the game, at the 19:09 mark of the middle stanza as the Rivermen captain Cooper Leitch gave Langley their first two-goal lead of the game at 4-2 as the 2nd period came to an end.
The 3rd period was played scoreless for the first fifteen minutes of the frame until the 15:13 mark of the period before the Warriors got the game to within a goal. A puck toward the net went off a Langley defender and right to Braiden Epp at the side of the goal as he beat Didur on the blocker side for his 15th goal of the season and a 4-3 Langley lead late in the 3rd period.
The Warriors pulled the goaltender with just over 1:30 to go in the game but with 16 seconds remaining, John Schuldt iced the game as he flew the empty net goal from his end of the ice and into the empty cage for the 5-3 win in favour of the visiting Rivermen.
Warriors netminder Cole Demers stopped 41 of 45 shots in the losing effort, his 14th loss of the season while Rivermen goaltender Bo Didur turned aside 33 of 36 shots for his 17th victory of his season.
FINAL SCORE: 5-3 Rivermen
SHOTS ON GOAL: 46-36 Rivermen
PP: Warriors (0/3) Rivermen (3/5)
1) Bo Didur (33 saves on 36 shots)
2) McKay Flanagan (1-2-3)
3) Connor Sodergren (1-1-2)
The Warriors (24-24-0-2) return to action on Thursday night as they make the trek up north for their lone visit of the season to Rolling Mix Concrete Arena to take on the Prince George Spruce Kings (22-22-2-4) for a 7:00 PM face-off.