Photo credit: Garrett James Photography
Langley Rivermen – 5
Victoria Grizzlies – 3
The Langley Rivermen are moving on to the second round after a 5-3 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies in Game 5 at home. Defenceman Joseph Messina had a four-point night for the Rivermen, Riley Wallack had two goals and an assist and goaltender Ajeet Gundarah made 39 save to earn the win.
Wallack got the scoring started in the first period, but Grizzlies defenceman Isack Bandu scored just over two minutes later to make it a 1-1 game at intermission. Max Bulawka regained the Langley lead with his BCHL-high sixth of the postseason before Victoria got another goal from Bandu and one from Kalen Szeto to go ahead for the first time. Rivermen forward Max Dukovac would tie it before the end of the frame and it was 3-3 after two. Messina gave Langley the lead back with a goal 3:31 into the third period and Wallack scored the insurance marker at the 13:40 mark to make it a 5-3 final.
The Grizzlies outshot the Rivermen 42 to 30 in this one, but Gundarah proved to be difficult to beat on the night.
Langley will play either the top-seeded Alberni Valley Bulldogs or the number-three seed Nanaimo Clippers in Round 2, depending on the outcome of the last remaining Coastal Conference series between the Chilliwack Chiefs and Coquitlam Express.
West Kelowna Warriors – 7
Vernon Vipers – 2
John Evans had two goals, three different West Kelowna Warriors players finished with a goal and an assist and goaltender Johnny Derrick stopped 34 of 36 shots as the Warriors defeated the Vernon Vipers 7-2 to punch their ticket to the second round. Vernon actually outshot West Kelowna 36 to 35, but Derrick stood tall. With his two-goal effort, Evans is second in playoff scoring with nine points in five games. The Warriors now wait to find out who they play in Round 2.
Salmon Arm Silverbacks – 5
Wenatchee Wild – 1
Simon Tassy and Noah Serdachny had a goal and an assist each and Owen Say made 30 saves to lead the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to a 5-1 win over the Wenatchee Wild in Game 5 and retake the series lead. With the score tied 1-1 after one period, Salmon Arm scored four straight goals to make it a 5-1 score line. The home team has won every game in this series so far and Wenatchee will look to continue that trend and extend the series on Saturday.