The Chilliwack Chiefs opened a crucial home-and-home series with a bang Friday night, bombing the Langley Rivermen 6-0 at Prospera Centre.
Goaltender Daniel Chenard stopped 25 shots for the shutout and captain Will Calverley had a three point night as Chilliwack took two points from their Mainland division rivals. The Chiefs, second in the Mainland division, improved to 12-8-1-2 and moved to within four points of first place Langley (10-4-9-0).
Chilliwack’s Anthony Vincent opened the scoring in this one, lighting the lamp with just 10 ticks left in the first period.
When a Langley defender blew a tire in the neutral zone, Calverley stepped past him and flew down the left wing. The captain dished a pass into the blue paint as Vincent went to the net. Defenceman Derek Hamelin wasn’t able to tie up Vincent’s stick, and No. 4 directed the puck across the goal line for his fourth of the season.
Calverley had a hand in Chilliwack’s second goal as well, scored 3:25 into the middle frame.
This one came shorthanded, with Vincent in the penalty box and his team killing off a two-minute slashing minor.
Calverley raced into the Langley zone, catching up to a dump-in behind the Rivermen net. Two Langley defenders joined him below the end-line, leaving Tommy Lee alone in front of the net. After taking a pass from Calverley, Lee had enough time to read War and Peace and binge watch season three of Breaking Bad before calmly sliding the puck past Rivermen goaltender Chad Cromar.
Lee’s second of the game had Chilliwack up by three at 10:18, chasing Cromar from the game.
Adam Berg set it up, curling out of the left corner and flipping a pass to Lee on the backhand. From a step or two below the left faceoff dot, the Calgary native lifted a top shelf shot over Cromar’s glove for his ninth of the season.
The goalie left having surrendered three goals on 18 shots, replaced by Braedon Fleming.
After setting up two, Calverley collected one of his own with 2:48 to go in period two. This one was set up by newcomer Dawson Martin, who came up with the puck along the left-wing boards and shovelled it into the slot. The puck hit Chilliwack’s Ryan Miotto on its way through to Calverley in the goal mouth.
He deftly roofed a backhand shot over Fleming’s mitt for his team-leading 11th.
Chenard was razor sharp at the other end, seeking his second BCHL shutout. His best save came on Rivermen forward Ethan Leyh midway through the final frame. On his way out of the Chilliwack zone, Chiefs D-man Powell Connor had his pocket picked by Leyh, who had the puck and no one standing between him the net.
But Chenard stared down the Port Moody native on the breakaway and made the stop. The Rivermen did what they could to get in his head. John Wojciechowski was twice flagged for goaltender interference, earning a game misconduct after his second infraction.
With the game out of reach in the final frame the visitors got extra chippy. Seconds after Wojciechowski left the building, a Spencer Berry slashing minor put the Rivermen two men down.
Working on the five-on-three, Berg fed a cross-ice pass across the goal mouth to Corey Andonovski. From one knee, the Ontario native one-timed the puck past Fleming.
Amother Andonovski goal with 3:08 remaining wrapped up the scoring.
Final shots on goal favoured the Chiefs 37-25.
The three stars were Calverley (first), Chenard (second) and Lee (third).
The Fortis B.C. Energy Player of the Game was Berg.
Announced attendance was 3,288.
The back half of this weekend home and home is tomorrow (Saturday) in Langley.