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Rivermen suffer overtime heartbreaker

Game three shifted back to Langley and the Rivermen needed a big win to avoid going down 3-0 at the hands of the Express. Hoping to improve on some things from the first two games, Langley head coach Bobby Henderson made a few lineup changes. Braedon Fleming was back between the pipes and both Chase Sandhu and Matteo Pecchia were scratched. Filling in that final forward spot was Keaton Oakley, an affiliate player from the Langley Trappers.

First Period

Both teams came out of the gate fast with some hard hitting hockey. The Express opened the scoring at the 8:45 mark when Connor Gregga scored from the slot on a play set up by Massimo Rizzo. The Rivermen answered shortly after as Brendan Budy, who was injured for most of February, got his first of the post season. Jonathan Stein drew the lone assist to tie the game. Fleming made some huge saves in the opening period to keep the Riv in the game.

Second Period

The second period was much quieter than the first, until Matthew Hubbarde blew the roof off of the George Preston Arena. Hubbarde put the Riv up 2-1 when he scored midway through the second assisted by Joesph Musa. Going into the final period, the Rivermen were clinging to a one goal lead.

Third Period

This was one of the most entertaining periods in the series so far. The Express tied the game up early in the third when Joshua Wildauer finished off a play set up by Cooper Connell and Wyatt Head.

Just over a minute after the Express tied it up, Langley answered right back. Matthew Hubbarde picked up his second of the night, assisted by Joseph Musa and Brian Scoville. The Express knotted the game again when Wildauer also scored his second of the night. Just under a minute later, Ryan Helliwell scored a power play goal to give the Riv the lead again. Brendan Budy and Jake Livingstone picked up the assists on the power play goal.

But as fate would have it, the Express would tie the game up once again as Will Margel scored with just under 10 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Overtime

Both teams had their chances in overtime, but the Express were able to finish the job. Danny Pearson scored the winner at 7:49 of the first overtime and Massimo Rizzo got the helper. The Express now have a stranglehold on the series with a 5-4 overtime win.

With their backs against the wall in a do-or-die situation, the Rivermen will look for a win in game 4 on Wednesday night.