The Langley Rivermen became the first BCHL team to clinch a spot in the post-season dance as they swept both ends of a home-and-home series with the Chilliwack Chiefs.
The Rivermen won the opener 5-0 on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre and then 5-2 the following evening at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre to stretch their winning streak to five games.
The results improved the junior A hockey club to 27-12-1-4 and 59 points, which is good for top spot in the BCHL’s Mainland Division.
The Rivermen have a seven-point cushion on the second-place Prince George Spruce Kings, although Prince George holds three games in hand.
Langley has 14 games to go in the regular season and five of their final seven are head-to-head matches against Prince George.
Rivermen 5 Chiefs 0
Jakob Reichert scored power-play goals in both the first and second periods to stake Langley to the 2-0 lead. And the Rivermen blew the game open with goals from Mitch McLain and Matt Ustaski 95 seconds apart in the third.
Tyson Witala rounded out the scoring.
Brock Crossthwaite stopped all 22 shots fired his way.
Rivermen 5 Chiefs 2
Langley used a three-goal second period to snap 1-1 tie.
Chilliwack’s Kiefer McNaughton and Langley’s Kevan Kilistoff had traded goals in the first period before McLain and James Robinson scored 74 seconds apart early in the second.
Brendan Gulka made it 4-1 before Andrew Silard’s short-handed goal cut the lead to two.
Robinson had the lone goal in the third.
Lyndon Starwood stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced.
The Rivermen host the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday (Jan. 18) at the Langley Events Centre before facing Mainland Division rival Surrey Eagles on Sunday afternoon at the South Surrey Arena.