Puffer’s overtime winner lifts Chiefs past Langley

A battle of Mainland division rivals saw the Chilliwack Chiefs beat the Langley Rivermen 4-3 at Prospera Centre.

Craig Puffer of the Chilliwack Chiefs goes down while trying to keep the puck away from three Langley Rivermen players during Wednesday night's game at Prospera Centre.

Craig Puffer scored the overtime winner Wednesday night, snapping a personal seven-game goal scoring drought as his Chilliwack Chiefs downed the Langley Rivermen 4-3 at Prospera Centre.

With the victory over their ach-rival, the locals improved to 18-8-0-1, moving three points clear of Prince George for top spot in the Mainland division standings. Chilliwack visits PG for a pair of games this weekend.

The speedy Chiefs had the Rivermen on their heels for most of period one, and took the just 1:45 in on a snipe by Chilliwack native Ryan Bowen. Jake Hand started the play with a cheeky backhand flip pass in the neutral zone, catching Bowen in full flight.

Langley defender Charlie Pelnik was the last man back and he got turned around by the rookie, who finished with a top-shelf shot for his fifth of the year.

The Chiefs doubled their lead at 7:14 on a power play goal by Tipper Higgins.

This play started at the Langley blueline, with a Higgins drop pass to Hand. Higgins went straight to the net while Hand peeled into the left faceoff circle. From just above the dot Hand made a pass to the right goal-post, where Higgins had a tap-in for his sixth of the season.

With a bit of puck luck, the Chiefs could have had two or three more.

But it was Langley getting the next goal, cutting Chilliwack’s lead in half with 4:01 to go.

Chiefs captain Eric Roberts got too aggressive trying to hold the puck in at the Rivermen blueline. Langley’s Evan Anderson chipped the puck past Roberts to Marcus Vela, who led a two-on-one rush with Gage Torrel.

Closing in on the Chilliwack net, Vela saucered the puck to Torrel, who roofed the puck over Chiefs netminder Aidan Pelino.

Chilliwack regained the two-goal lead 3:54 into period two on a goal by Kurt Black. Taking a pass from linemate Jordan Kawaguchi, the Winfield native put a short-side shot over the shoulder of Langley netminder Bo Didur.

But moments later, Black was in the penalty box, banished with a double minor for high sticking.

With the second minor set to expire, Kevan Kilistoff put a pass across the goal-mouth to Torrel, who popped it past Pelino for his second of the game. Vela scored at 11:27 and the game was tied 3-3.

The Chiefs had a 31 second two-man advantage to end the second period and were still on the power play as the final frame started.

The Rivermen killed that off and gifted the Chiefs two more power plays late in the third period. The Chilliwack power play fizzled each time and the teams ended up in overtime. Five minutes of four-on-four solved nothing.

With 2:12 to go in three-on-three OT, Puffer netted the winner. Linemate Rory Bell did the heavy lifting, pouncing on a neutral zone turnover and taking the puck hard to the net. Didur stopped Bell’s shot, but Puffer whacked the rebound across the line for his team-leading 19th of the year, sending the crowd home happy.

The three stars were Chilliwack’s Brandon Potomak (first), Hand (second) and Torrel (third).

The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Chilliwack’s Luke McColgan.

Announced attendance was 2,553.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

Final numbers won't be known for weeks, but turnout was down across the board in the Fraser Valley and B.C.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
Election turnout down across Fraser Valley and B.C.

Even after thousands of mail-in ballots counted, turnout is likely to fall below 50% in many ridings

Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil forfeiture office alleges $2M Surrey home was used to launder cannabis money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

Most Read